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Success in Geneva: Toxic flame retardant to be phased out globally despite EU protest

Alexandra Caterbow: “EU had the chance to act on its full global responsibility, but failed”

10.05.2013 |WECF

The 6th Conference of Parties of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (COP6) has decided to phase out the widely used endocrine disrupting flame retardant Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). However, the EU stood out negatively by pushing for extended use of the chemical.

HBCD is a highly toxic brominated flame retardant which is widely used in building insulation, upholstery, and electronics in the EU. Despite the decision made to stop using HBCD, an exemption has been made for building insulation materials. This is surprising since HBCD will have to be phased out in the EU until 2015 under the REACH regulation. Also, the proposal to keep recycling products containing HBCD until 2024 has been rejected. Alexandra Caterbow, Senior Policy Advisor for Chemicals and Health, from WECF says: “EU had the chance to act on its full global responsibility, but failed”.
he synthetic chemical, despite not natural to the environment, can be found everywhere in the world by now. It is highly persistent and accumulates in fatty tissue. It is an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) which affects and disturbs the body’s hormone system. It thus has especially negative effects on the health of children, also hindering the development of the nervous system and the mental abilities of children.

You can download the full press release with more information here.

Also, if you are more interested in finding information on flame retardants, their effects on children, and how to avoid other toxic chemicals in your home, have a look at our Project Nesting website.

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