HBM4EU conference says data is inadequate for 60+ current use FRs, suggests potential endocrine disrupting concerns. The EU-funded HBM4EU human biomonitoring project (Horizon2020) is coordinated by the German Environment Agency UBA and involves several European Agencies (EEA, EFSA, ECHA), WHO and governments of 30 countries. At the project final conference, (27-28 April 2022), Lisa Melymuk, Masaryk University (Czech Republic) presented the project conclusions on flame retardants. The project considered “legacy” brominated FRs (PBDEs, HBCDDs: now restricted, but continuing to be found in products, humans, the environment), 35 currently used halogenated FRs (brominated, chlorinated) and 14 current non-halogenated FRs (including phosphorus and nitrogen based FRs). Conclusions presented suggest a possible link between legacy brominated FRs PBDEs and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and evidence of endocrine disrupting activity (ED) for current use FRs, both halogenated FRs (TDCIPP, TBBPA) and non-halogenated phosphate esters (TPhP, TMPP). Several other FRs may have potential for ED, but the evidence is inconclusive (see Bajard et al., 2021, summarised in pinfa Newsletter n°125). Similarities in FR (anti-androgenic) ED profiles suggest that presence of multiple FRs in products, air, dust and diet may lead to ED effects due to the cumulative effect of low level exposures to multiple FRs. It is stated that for current use FRs, overall, toxicological data is limited, epidemiological data very limited, and data on human exposure via food is limited. In particular, for current use FRs, data on possible ED effects (in vivo, mechanistic, in vitro ED activity data) is considered inadequate.
“Flame retardants from Europe. Results and policy implications”, L. Melymuk, HBM4EU final conference, 27-28 April 2022 https://www.hbm4eu.eu/result/hbm4eu-final-conference/
HBM4EU video on Flame Retardants (2 ½ minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW12ZNYS5bU