Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have for a long time been widely used in plastic and foam products, including furniture upholstery, car seats, electronics, and building insulation. Their purpose was to increase the fire safety of the highly flammable plastic materials used. However, progress in scientific knowledge, efforts to protect consumers, as well as public pressure have contributed to a gradual ban of the most toxic BFRs.
Our current study is a continuation of previous investigations by IPEN and Arnika on unregulated recycling of e-waste plastics, which carry BFRs into new products. The current study is aimed at determining whether children’s toys, hair accessories, office supplies, and kitchen utensils also contain PBDD/Fs and what the relation is between the content of BFRs in these products and levels of brominated dioxins.