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OEHHA Proposes the Listing of a Brominated Flame Retardant

OEHHA Proposes the Listing of a Brominated Flame Retardant

Author: Jack Schatz/Friday, May 05, 2017/Categories: Prop65, Regulatory Proposals, National Toxicology Program (NTP)

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California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) today announced that it intends to list 
pentabromodiphenyl ether mixture [DE-71 (technical grade)] as known to the State to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.  The agency is proposing this action under the statute's authoritative bodies listing mechanism.

OEHHA is proposing the listing based on a 2016 report published by The National Toxicology Program (NTP).

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is one of the several institutions designated as authoritative for the identification of chemicals as causing cancer for purposes of Proposition 65.

In 2016, NTP published a report on pentabromodiphenyl ether mixture [DE-71 (technical grade)], entitled Toxicology Studies of a Pentabromodiphenyl Ether Mixture [DE-71 (Technical Grade)] (CASRN 32534-81-9) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1/N Mice and Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of a Pentabromodiphenyl Ether Mixture [DE-71 (Technical Grade)] in Wistar Han [Crl:WI(Han)] Rats and B6C3F1/N Mice (Gavage Studies), that concludes that the chemical causes cancer (NTP, 2016).  The agency determined the report satisfies the formal identification and sufficiency of evidence criteria in the Proposition 65 regulations. 

OEHHA relied on the NTP’s discussion of data and conclusions in the report that pentabromodiphenyl ether mixture [DE-71 (technical grade)] causes cancer.  The NTP (2016) states in the Conclusion section of the report’s Summary.

“We conclude that DE-71 caused liver cancers in male and female rats and mice.  Occurrences of the thyroid gland and pituitary gland tumors in male rats were also considered to be related to treatment. Occurrences of uterine tumors in female rats may also have been related to exposure to DE-71.”

pentabromodiphenyl ether mixture [DE-71 (technical grade) has been used in the past as an additive flame retardant, especially for polyester foam commonly used in furniture. U.S. production and use of pentabromodiphenyl ether mixtures were  voluntarily phased out around 2004.

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Jack Schatz

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