Brominated diphenyl ethers / published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization
AbstractEvaluates the risks to human health and the environment posed by exposure to ten brominated diphenyl ethers. Of these, three (decabromodiphenyl ether, octabromodiphenyl ether, and pentabromodiphenyl ether) are widely manufactured and used as additive flame retardants. The remaining seven compounds occur as contaminants or impurities in commercial brominated flame retardants. Because of their success in reducing fire hazards for the general public, brominated biphenyl ethers are used in increasing quantities in a wide range of products. Concern about potential risks to human health and the environment has centered on the persistence of these chemicals in the environment, thir tendency to bioaccumulate, their detection in several food items and in human adipose tissue and milk, their tendency to leach or escape from finished products during normal operation, and the release of polybrominated dibenzofurans and polybrominated dibenzodioxins as breakdown products under certain conditions. For decabromodiphenyl ether, which is the most important of these products, the report cites evidence of persistence in the environment, accumulation in sediment and soil, occupational exposure during manufacturing and formulation, and an insignificant exposure of the general population. Similar risks to the environment were found for octabromodiphenyl ether. For pentabromodiphenyl ether, evidence of environmental hazards and potential human exposure via the food chain supports the conclusion that this product should not be used. In its conclusions, the report stresses the need to minimize environmental contamination with these persistent compounds and their breakdown products. Introduction of such chemicals into widely used products may create a considerable long-term diffuse source of emissions into the environment
World Health Organization & International Programme on Chemical Safety. (1994). Brominated diphenyl ethers / published under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation, and the World Health Organization. Geneva : World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/40594
Environmental health criteria ; 162
DescriptionSummary and evaluation, conclusions and recommendations in French and Spanish
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