EPA: Use of HBCD in Building, Construction Materials Poses Risks to Workers
EPA’s final risk evaluation (PDF) for cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster, also known as hexabromocyclododecane or HBCD, identifies “unreasonable” risks to workers exposed to it in building and construction materials. According to EPA, these risks are associated with both acute and chronic inhalation exposures when personal protective equipment is not used during installation, disposal, or demolition of construction materials. Potential health effects from HBCD exposures include thyroid, liver, reproductive, and developmental issues.
For its final risk evaluation, EPA reviewed 12 conditions of use associated with HBCD. The agency found no unreasonable risks to the general population from any other conditions of use, including in consumer products. EPA’s final risk evaluation also identifies six conditions of use that present unreasonable risks to the environment, specifically for aquatic and sediment-dwelling organisms: the import, processing, recycling, commercial use, consumer use, and disposal of HBCD. Under Toxic Substances Control Act legislation, EPA has two years to address the unreasonable risks it has identified in its evaluation.