Toxic substances list: hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)

Hexabromocyclododecane, which has the molecular formula C12H18Br6 (HBCD), is a brominated flame retardant. Brominated flame retardants are organic compounds containing bromine that slow the ignition and spread of fire.

HBCD was found primarily in expanded (EPS) and extruded (XPS) polystyrene foam used as an insulation material in the building industry (approximately 99% of its historical use). There were also a number of other minor uses as a flame retardant, such as in textiles used for upholstered furniture and upholstered seating in transportation, and in wall coverings and draperies. It was also used in some glues, paints, adhesives and polymers contained in electronic equipment. The only known intentional use of HBCD in products in Canada is within the automotive sector. Although, HBCD may also be present in products made from recycled plastics including toys.

For more information on this substance, please visit the Chemical Substances website and the Chemicals at a glance information sheet for HBCD.

Risk assessment

Risk management strategy

Strategies and actions recommended to manage risks associated with the substance:

Risk management tools

Tools developed to manage risks associated with the substance:

International engagement

For information on Canada's international engagement on this substance, please visit:


Consultations (past and present) on the substance:

Other information


Chemicals Management Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3


Substances Management Information Line:
Telephone: 1-800-567-1999 (in Canada) or 819-938-3232
Fax: 819-938-3231


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