A review summarises progress in banning “legacy” brominated FRs and questions posed by other “novel” brominated FRs. Implementation of the Stockholm POP (Persistent Organic Pollutants) Convention, as applicable to brominated flame retardants (BFRs) is analysed. This Convention today lists PBDEs, HBCD and HBB. These are now almost entirely prohibited, or this is underway, in e.g. Europe, China, Japan. The USA has not signed the Stockholm Convention, but thirteen States have already taken actions. The paper notes the challenges posed by presence of these listed POP BFRs in waste streams, posing an obstacle to recycling, and with risk of their accidental presence in recycled materials. The paper notes that the use of other (“novel”) BFRs poses difficulty for screening of these listed POP BFRs in recycling streams, and questions whether brominated replacements may not also be banned in the future.
“Phasing-out of legacy brominated flame retardants: The UNEP Stockholm Convention and other legislative action worldwide”, M. Sharkey et al., Environment International 144 (2020) 106041 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106041