2,3,4,5-tetrabromo-ethylhexylbenzoate

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2,3,4,5-tetrabromo-ethylhexylbenzoate (TBB) is a chemical used in flame retardants including the commercial formulations Firemaster 550[1] and Firemaster BZ-54.[2]

TBB has been found in polyurethane foam from common baby products[3] and couch cushions.[4]

Presence in the Environment

TBB has been found in household dust in the United States,[5][6] New Zealand,[7] Belgium, and the United Kingdom.[8] A 2014 study noted a strong correlation between the levels of TBB in household dust and on children's hands.[9] It has also been found in sewage sludge from American wastewater treatment plants[10].

A 2009 study reported that TBB was found in blubber samples of dolphins and porpoises.[11] A 2012 study reported high levels of TBPH in mollusks found downstream of a textile manufacturing outfall.[12]

Other studies have found TBB in the atmosphere. A 2012 study of the atmosphere in the Great Lakes region of the U.S. found that levels of the chemical were more concentrated in urban areas than in remote, rural areas and levels increased over the study period.[13][14] It was also found at "relatively high concentrations" in the Canadian High Arctic and on the Tibetan Plateau.[15] Scientists anticipate that its presence in such remote places might signify the chemical's "significant potential for long-range atmospheric transport." A 2011 study detected it in air and seawater samples taken during a polar expedition cruise from East China Sea to the Arctic.[16]

A 2013 study of sediment samples in South Africa found TBB in 91% of all samples.[17]

Health Impacts

Products and Manufacturers

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Patisaul HB, Roberts SC, Mabrey N, McCaffrey KA, Gear RB, Braun J, Belcher SM, Stapleton HM. 2012. "Accumulation and Endocrine Disrupting Effects of the Flame Retardant Mixture Firemaster(®) 550 in Rats: An Exploratory Assessment." J Biochem Mol Toxicol; doi: 10.1002/jbt.21439. [Online 8 November 2012].
  2. Jonathan S. Bearr, Carys L. Mitchelmore, and Heather M. Stapleton, "Species specific differences in the in vitro metabolism of the flame retardant mixture, Firemaster® BZ-54," Aquatic Toxicology, November 15, 2012.
  3. Heather M. Stapleton, Susan Klosterhaus, and Arlene Blum, "Identification of Flame Retardants in Polyurethane Foam Collected from Baby Products," Environ Sci Technol. Jun 15, 2011; 45(12): 5323–5331.
  4. Heather M. Stapleton, Smriti Sharma, Gordon Getzinger, P. Lee Ferguson, Michelle Gabriel, Thomas F. Webster, and Arlene Blum, "Novel and High Volume Use Flame Retardants in US Couches Reflective of the 2005 PentaBDE Phase Out," Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46 (24), pp 13432–13439 DOI: 10.1021/es303471d.
  5. Stapleton HM, Allen JG, Kelly SM, Konstantinov A, Klosterhaus S, Watkins D, McClean MD, Webster TF, "Alternate and new brominated flame retardants detected in U.S. house dust," Environmental Science & Technology, September 15, 2008.
  6. Robin E. Dodson, Laura J. Perovich, and Ruthann A. Rude, "After the PBDE Phase-Out: A Broad Suite of Flame Retardants in Repeat House Dust Samples from California," Environmental Science & Technology, December 18, 2012.
  7. Ali N, Dirtu AC, Van den Eede N, Goosey E, Harrad S, Neels H, 't Mannetje A, Coakley J, Douwes J, Covaci A, "Occurrence of alternative flame retardants in indoor dust from New Zealand: indoor sources and human exposure assessment," Chemosphere, September 2012.
  8. Ali N, Harrad S, Goosey E, Neels H, Covaci A, ""Novel" brominated flame retardants in Belgian and UK indoor dust: implications for human exposure," Chemosphere, May 2011.
  9. Stapleton HM, Misenheimer J, Hoffman K, Webster TF, "Flame retardant associations between children's handwipes and house dust," Chemosphere. January 30, 2014.
  10. Davis EF, Klosterhaus SL, Stapleton HM, "Measurement of flame retardants and triclosan in municipal sewage sludge and biosolids," Environ Int, April 2012.
  11. Lam JC, Lau RK, Murphy MB, Lam PK, "Temporal trends of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and detection of two novel flame retardants in marine mammals from Hong Kong, South China," Environmental Science & Technology, September 15, 2009.
  12. La Guardia MJ, Hale RC, Harvey E, Mainor TM, Ciparis S, "In situ accumulation of HBCD, PBDEs, and several alternative flame-retardants in the bivalve (Corbicula fluminea) and gastropod (Elimia proxima)," Environmental Science & Technology, June 5, 2012.
  13. Ma Y, Venier M, Hites RA, "2-Ethylhexyl tetrabromobenzoate and bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate flame retardants in the Great Lakes atmosphere," Environmental Science & Technology, January 3, 2012.
  14. Ma Y, Salamova A, Venier M, Hites RA, "Has the phase-out of PBDEs affected their atmospheric levels? Trends of PBDEs and their replacements in the Great Lakes atmosphere," Environ Sci Technol, October 15, 2013.
  15. Xiao H, Shen L, Su Y, Barresi E, Dejong M, Hung H, Lei YD, Wania F, Reiner EJ, Sverko E, Kang SC, "Atmospheric concentrations of halogenated flame retardants at two remote locations: the Canadian High Arctic and the Tibetan Plateau," Environ Pollut, February 2012.
  16. Möller A, Xie Z, Cai M, Zhong G, Huang P, Cai M, Sturm R, He J, Ebinghaus R, "Polybrominated diphenyl ethers vs alternate brominated flame retardants and Dechloranes from East Asia to the Arctic," Environmental Science & Technology, August 15, 2011.
  17. La Guardia MJ, Hale RC, Newman B, "Brominated flame-retardants in Sub-Saharan Africa: burdens in inland and coastal sediments in the eThekwini metropolitan municipality, South Africa," Environmental Science & Technology, September 3, 2013.

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