Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Feed

See an unfamiliar ingredient

Soup Can Ingredients

Search the Be Food Smart database


Enter food additive or ingredient name

Select and eat smarter food


Alternate Names



Brominated flame retardant used in polystyrene foams for thermal insulation. HBCD is also used in upholstery fabrics, automobile interior textiles, and video/audio equipment housings. HBCD is very resistant to environmental degridation, meaning it bioaccumulates. The effect of bioaccumulation is that this chemical is found in birds, mammals, fish and other organisms.

Hexabromocyclododecane - Quick Stats



Additional Information

The European Chemicals Agency lists HBCD in the Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an Action Plan Summary on August 18, 2010 in order to better manage the risks of this chemical. Researchers at the University of Texas School of Public Health tested many common food products purchased between 2009 and 2010 in the Dallas area and found 15 out of the 36 items tested positive for HBCD. Some of the foods that tested positive were fresh salmon, deli-sliced turkey, chili with beans, and peanut butter.

Found In

Insulation foam, upholstery, video and audio equipment, automobile interior textiles, high-impact polystyrene, adhesives, coatings. A recent study by University of Texas School of Public Health found small amounts of HBCD in some foods such as salmon, deli-sliced turkey, chili with beans, and peanut butter.

Possible Health Effects

Developmental neurotoxicity, alterations in immune systems, endocrine disruption, reproductive effects were indicated at high doses of HBCD. Studies have shown that HBCD can cause changes in thyroid function and may lead to abnormal development in children, particularly in the nervous system.

Allergy Information

In The News

May 31, 2012: Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) Stereoisomers in U.S. Food from Dallas, Texas

Online Resources/Related

Copyright June 1, 2012 Be Food Smart

Simply click one of the grades below to get a listing of all ingredients with that grade

A Grade B Grade C Grade D Grade F Grade G Grade

Google-Translate-English to French Google-Translate-English to Spanish Google-Translate-English to German Google-Translate-English to Italian
Follow BeFoodSmart on Twitter

Most Viewed

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Acesulfame Potassium
FD&C Red No.40
Sodium Benzoate
Xanthan Gum
Agar Agar
Guar Gum
FD&C Colors
Caramel Color
Sodium Nitrate
Cellulose Gum
Carnauba Wax