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Hexabromocyclododecane as a possible global POP

image of Hexabromocyclododecane as a possible global POP

The objective of this report is to review the relevant information on a brominated flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) in relation to the screening criteria of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and of the Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants of the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution for adding new substances to these instruments. Some additional information needed in the consideration of the possible nomination of the substance as a new POP is also provided. This joint Nordic project has been prepared by consultant Johanna Peltola-Thies and supervised by a project group under Bjørg Fjeld from the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority. The project was financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers through the Nordic Chemicals Group and the Nordic Sea and Air Quality Group.

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Statement of the reasons for concern and need for global action

HBCDD is highly toxic to aquatic organisms. According to laboratory tests with mammals, it affects the functioning of the thyroid system and liver. The available data contain also indications of effects on fertility and developmental neurotoxicity of mammals, which need to be addressed in further studies. The monitoring data available from remote areas provide an unevitable evidence, that HBCDD is transported over long distances in the environment. Temporal series of concentrations of HBCDD in birds and marine mammals show an increasing trend in remote areas as well as in regions closer to the sources. HBCDD is based on measured data widespread in the global environment. HBCDD has been detected in the majority of samples in the abiotic environment, biota and/or humans of the Arctic, Europe, Asia and North and South America regions. Furthermore, HBCDD is degraded slowly in the aquatic environment and soil. HBCDD has a great potential for bioaccumulation via direct uptake from water and via food. It has been observed to biomagnify in laboratory tests (with fish and mammals) and in the environment. HBCDD is according to the available data also transferred from mother to child during pregnancy via blood and after delivery via breast feeding. Also the general human population is exposed to HBCDD based on measured data.

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