Phasing out the flame retardant HBCD

Builders insulating a houseClick to enlarge
HBCD in polystyrene insulation materials will be banned
Source: Kara /

For a long time the chemical hexabromocyclododecane, or HBCD, was the most economically significant flame retardant used in polystyrene foam for insulation materials. Our background paper, also available in English, provides answers to the most important questions concerning the phase-out.

In May 2013 HBCD was identified as a persistent organic pollutant (POP) under the international Stockholm Convention. This means that a worldwide ban on the sale and application of the chemical will soon become effective. We have compiled information about why the chemical will no longer be used, what transitional phases are likely to be in effect in the EU, what alternatives there are, and how to dispose of insulation materials which contain HBCD.