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EHP

San Antonio Statement on Brominated and Chlorinated Flame Retardants

Joseph DiGangi1, Arlene Blum2,3, Åke Bergman4, Cynthia A. de Wit5, Donald Lucas6, David Mortimer7, Arnold Schecter8, Martin Scheringer9, Susan D. Shaw10, Thomas F. Webster11

1 International POPs Elimination Network, Berkeley, California, USA, 2 Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA, 3 Green Science Policy Institute, Berkeley, California, USA, 4 Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, and, 5 Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, 6 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA, 7 Food Standards Agency, London, United Kingdom, 8 University of Texas School of Public Health, Dallas, Texas, USA, 9 Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland, 10 Marine Environmental Research Institute, Center for Marine Studies, Blue Hill, Maine, USA, 11 Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA



Environ Health Perspect 118:A516-A518 (2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1003089 [online 28 October 2010]

Editorial

The authors declare they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.

The statement is signed by the individual scientists and other professionals listed separately below. Please note that the views expressed are those of the authors and signatories; institutional affiliations are provided for identification purposes only. Abbreviations and an Annotated Statement are available as Supplemental Material.

We, scientists from a variety of disciplines, declare the following:

  1. Parties to the Stockholm Convention have taken action on three brominated flame retardants that have been listed in the treaty for global elimination. These substances include components of commercial penta-bromodiphenyl ether and commercial octa-bromodiphenyl ether, along with hexabromobiphenyl. Another brominated flame retardant, hexabromocyclododecane, is under evaluation.
  2. Many commonly used brominated and chlorinated flame retardants 
can undergo long-range environmental transport.
  3. Many brominated and chlorinated flame retardants appear to be persistent and bioaccumulative, resulting in food chain contamination, including human milk.
  4. Many brominated and chlorinated flame retardants lack adequate toxicity information, but the available data raises concerns.
  5. Many different types of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants have been incorporated into products even though comprehensive toxicological information is lacking.
  6. Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants present in a variety of products are released to the indoor and outdoor environments.
  7. Near-end-of-life and end-of-life electrical and electronic products are a growing concern as a result of dumping in developing countries, which results in the illegal transboundary movement of their hazardous constituents. These include brominated and chlorinated flame retardants.
  8. There is a lack of capacity to handle electronic waste in an environ-mentally sound manner in almost all developing countries and countries with economies in transition, leading to the release of hazardous substances that cause harm to human health and the environment. These substances include brominated and chlorinated flame retardants.
  9. Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants can increase fire toxicity, but their overall benefit in improving fire safety has not been proven.
  10. When brominated and chlorinated flame retardants burn, highly toxic dioxins and furans are formed.
    Therefore, these data support the following:
  11. Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants as classes of 
substances are a concern for persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transport, and toxicity.
  12. There is a need to improve the availability of and access to information on brominated and chlorinated flame retardants and other chemicals in products in the supply chain and throughout each product’s life cycle.
  13. Consumers can play a role in the adoption of alternatives to harmful flame retardants if they are made aware of the presence of the substances, for example, through product labeling.
  14. The process of identifying alternatives to flame retardants should include not only alternative chemicals but also innovative changes in the design of products, industrial processes, and other practices that do not require the use of any flame retardant.
  15. Efforts should be made to ensure that current and alternative chemical flame retardants do not have hazardous properties, such as mutagenicity and carcinogenicity, or adverse effects on the reproductive, developmental, endocrine, immune, or nervous systems.
  16. When seeking exemptions for certain applications of flame retardants, the party requesting the exemption should supply some information indicating why the exemption is technically or scien-tifically necessary and why potential alternatives are not technically or scientifically viable; a description of potential alternative processes, products, materials, or systems that eliminate the need for the chemical; and a list of sources researched.
  17. Wastes containing flame retardants with persistent organic pollutant (POP) characteristics, including products and articles, should be disposed of in such a way that the POP content is destroyed or irreversibly transformed so that they do not exhibit the charac-teristics of POPs.
  18. Flame retardants with POP characteristics should not be permitted to be subjected to disposal operations that may lead to recovery, recycling, reclamation, direct reuse, or alternative uses of the substances.
  19. Wastes containing flame retardants with POP properties should not be transported across international boundaries unless it is for disposal in such a way that the POP content is destroyed or 
irreversibly transformed.
  20. It is important to consider product stewardship and extended 
producer responsibility aspects in the life-cycle management of products containing flame retardants with POP properties, including electronic and electrical products.

Signatories

San Antonio Statement on Brominated and Chlorinated Flame Retardants

Signatories as of publication date. Institutions are for identification purposes only.

Sam Adu-Kumi, M.S., Deputy Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Accra, Ghana

Björn Albinson, Fire Protection Engineer (retired), Karlstad, Sweden

Henrik Alm, M.S., Doctoral Student, Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Division of Toxicology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Misha Askren, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., Physician, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Pasadena, CA, USA

Ralph Baker, M.S., Ph.D., Chief Scientist, TerraTherm Inc., Fitchburg, MA, USA

John Balmes, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA, and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Scott Bartell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

Georg Becher, Ph.D., Department Director and Professor, Analytical Chemistry, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

David C. Bellinger, Ph.D., Professor, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

Stephen Bent, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Åke Bergman, Ph.D., Professor, Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, and Board Member, International Panel on Chemical Pollution, Zürich, Switzerland

Anders Bignert, Ph.D., Professor, Contaminant Research, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden

Justina Björklund, M.S., Graduate Student, Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Arlene Blum, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Christian Bogdal, Ph.D., Researcher, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland

Phil Brown, Ph.D., Professor, Sociology and Environmental Studies, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

David Camann, M.S., Staff Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, USA

Carmela Centeno, M.S., Ph.D., Industrial Development Officer, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Vienna, Austria

Ibrahim Chahoud, Ph.D., Professor of Reproductive Toxicology, Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Eliza Chin, M.D., M.P.H., President, American Medical Women’s Association, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Brock Chittim, M.S., General Manager, Wellington Laboratories, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Carsten Christophersen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Bradley Clarke, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom

Theo Colborn, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Kathleen Collins, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Terrence Collins, Ph.D., Teresa Heinz Professor of Green Chemistry and Director of the Institute for Green Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Adrian Covaci, Ph.D., Professor, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Craig Criddle, Ph.D., Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Margarita Curras-Collazo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, USA

Kyle D’Silva, Ph.D., Product Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Dreieich, Germany

Devra Davis, M.A., Ph.D., M.P.H, Visiting Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA, and Founder, Environmental Health Trust, Teton Village, WY, USA

Joao De Assuncao, M.S., Ph.D., Professor and Department Head, Environmental Health, University of Sao Paulo School of Public Health, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Cynthia A. de Wit, Ph.D., Professor, Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Mike Denison, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA

Miriam Diamond, Ph.D., Professor, Geography, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Joseph DiGangi, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Technical Advisor, International POPs Elimination Network, Berkeley, CA, USA

Alin Dirtu, Ph.D., Researcher, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

Michelle Douskey, Ph.D., Lecturer, Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkley, CA, USA

Anne Ehrlich, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Biology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA

David Epel, Ph.D., Jane & Marshall Steel Jr. Professor Emeritus in Marine Sciences, Cell and Developmental Biology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Brenda Eskenazi, M.A., Ph.D., Jennifer and Brian Maxwell Professor of Maternal Health and Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Tim Evans, Ph.D., Cancer Registration Information Manager, West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Peter Fantke, Ph.D., Research Associate, Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Joseph Gardella Jr., Ph.D., Professor and Larkin Chair of Chemistry, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA

Philip Germansderfer, D.Sc., International Marketing Sales, Fluid Managment Systems, Watertown, MA, USA

Gillian Gibson, M.Sc., Environmental Scientist, Gibson Consulting and Training, Cheshire, United Kingdom

Andreas Gies, Ph.D., Director and Professor, Department for Environmental Hygiene, Federal Environment Agency, Berlin, Germany

Robert Gould, M.D., President, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Berkeley, CA, USA

Konstanze Grote, Ph.D., Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Charité University Medical School Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Rui Guo, Ministry of Environment, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jana Hajslova, Ph.D., Head of Department of Food Analysis, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, Czech Republic

Ralph Hall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Bruce Hammock, Ph.D., Professor, Entomology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA

Tran Thi Tuyet Hanh, M.P.H., Lecturer in Environmental Health, Hanoi School of Public Health, Hanoi, Vietnam

Kim Harley, Ph.D., Associate Director, Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Stuart Harrad, Ph.D., Professor, Environmental Chemistry, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Robert Harrison, M.D., M.P.H., Clinical Professor, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Line Smastuen Haug, Doctoral Student, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

Yasuhiro Hirai, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Environment Preservation Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Ivan Holoubek, Ph.D., Director and Professor, Masaryk University, Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Brno, Czech Republic

Ron Hoogenboom, Ph.D., Toxicologist, RIKILT Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen University and Research Center, Wageningen, the Netherlands, and Board Member, International Panel on Chemical Pollution, Zürich, Switzerland

David Hope, CEO, Pacific Rim Laboratories, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

William J. Hirzy, Ph.D., Chemist in Residence, American University, Washington, DC, USA

Heinrich Huehnerfuss, Ph.D., Professor, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Alastair Iles, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Tomohiko Isobe, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Ehime University, Matsuyama City, Japan

Kristina Jakobsson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Sarah Janssen, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York City, NY, USA

Niklas Johansson, Scientist, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Catherine Karr, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., Assistant Professor and Director, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Donald Kennedy, Ph.D., Bing Professor of Environmental Science, Emeritus, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA, and Editor Emeritus, Science

Sergio Kuriyama, Ph.D., Guest Scientist, Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology, National School of Public Health, Fiocruz, Brazil

James Leckie, M.S., Ph.D., C.L. Peck, Class of 1906 Professor of Engineering and Director, Center for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Pamela Lein, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular Biosciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA

Juliana Leonel, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Brazil

Mark Levine, Ph.D., Leader, China Energy Group, and Former Director, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

Donald Lucas, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Environment, Health, and Safety Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

Richard Luthy, Ph.D., Silas H. Palmer Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Karl Mair, D.Sc., Senior Scientist, Eco Research SRL, Bolzano, Italy

Govindan Malarvannan, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime University, Matsuyama City, Japan

John Meeker, M.S., Sc.D., Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Richard Meigs, P.E., Senior Principal Engineer, RJR Engineering, Ventura, CA, USA

Mark Miller, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, and Assistant Clinical Professor, Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Paolo Mocarelli, M.D., Professor and Director, Department of Clinical Pathology, University of Milano Bicocca, Milano, Italy

Rachel Morello-Frosch, M.P.H., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Jochen Mueller, Ph.D., Professor, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Tom Muir, M.S., Retired, Environment Canada, Québec City, Quebec, Canada

Martin Mulvihill, Ph.D., Associate Director for Education and Outreach, Center for Green Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Anbu Munasamy, M.S., Ph.D., National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology–Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Thiruvananthapuran, Kerala, India

Richard Murphy, Ph.D., Director of Science and Education, Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Futures Society, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Takeshi Nakano, Ph.D., Research Professor, Center for Advanced Science and Innovation, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan

Shoji Nakayama, M.D., Ph.D., National Research Council Associate, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA

Amgalan Natsagdorj, Ph.D., Department Head, Environmental Chemistry, National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

William Nazaroff, Ph.D., Daniel Tellep Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

John Neuberger, Dr.Ph., M.P.H., M.B.A., Professor, Preventative Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS, USA

Jessica Norrgran, Doctoral Student, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Fardin Oliaei, Ph.D., M.P.A., Consultant, Cambridge EnviroScience Consulting, LLC, Cambridge, MA, USA

Kees Olie, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Olaf Paepke, Ph.D., Eurofins, Hamburg, Germany

Victoria Persky, M.D., Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL, USA

Agneta Rannug, Ph.D., Professor, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Ulf Rannug, Ph.D., Professor, Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Eric Reiner, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Ontario Ministry of Environment, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Martin Reinhard, Ph.D., Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Karen Rice, M.D., Physician, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Walnut Creek Kaiser, Walnut Creek, CA, USA

Robert H. Rice, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA

Anthony Roach, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Government of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

David Roberts, Ph.D., William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Astrophysics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA

Mary Roberts, Ph.D., Professor, Chemistry, Boston College, Boston, MA, USA

Christina Ruden, Ph.D., Professor, Philosophy and the History of Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Cindy Lee Russell, M.D., Vice President of Community Health, Santa Clara County Medical Association, San Jose, CA, USA

Kenneth Sauer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Arnold Schecter, M.D., M.P.H., Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Texas School of Public Health, Dallas, TX, USA

Martin Scheringer, D.Sc., Senior Scientist, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland, and Board Member, International Panel on Chemical Pollution, Zürich, Switzerland

Ted Schettler, M.D., M.P.H., Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network, Ames, IA, USA

Karl-Werner Schramm, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany

Megan Schwarzman, M.D., M.P.H., Research Scientist, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA, and Associate Physician, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Susan D. Shaw, Dr.PH., Director, Marine Environmental Research Institute, Blue Hill, ME, USA

Heather Stapleton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Kristina Sundqvist, Ph.D., Project Assistant, Chemistry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Patrice Sutton, M.P.H., Research Scientist, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Shanna Swan, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Director, Center for Reproductive Epidemiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY, USA

Takumi Takasuga, Ph.D., Director, Shimadzu Techno-Research Inc., Kyoto, Japan

Chris Talsness, D.V.M., Working Group Leader in Reproductive Toxicology, Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Cathrine Thomsen, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

Gregg Tomy, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor, Fisheries and Oceans, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Joao Paulo Machado Torres, Sc.D., Associate Professor, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

James Trosko, Ph.D., Professor, Pediatrics and Human Development, Center for Integrative Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Mary Turyk, Ph.D., M.P.H., Research Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Gunther Umlauf, Ph.D., European Commission Joint Research Center, Ispra, Italy

Bryan Vining, Ph.D., Analytical Perspectives, Wilmington, NC, USA

Qiuquan Wang, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

Yawei Wang, Ph.D., Research Center for Eco Environmental Science, Beijing, China

Julie Shu-Li Wang, Ph.D., Investigator, National Health Research Institute, Taipei, Taiwan

Rosemary Waring, Ph.D., Honorary Reader, Human Toxicology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Thomas F. Webster, D.Sc., Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

Charles Weschler, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA, and Continuing Visiting Professor, International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Stevie Wilding, Chemist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Duane Wilding, M.E., Senior Engineer, Maryland Environmental Service, Millersville, MD, USA

Gayle Windham, Ph.D., Researcher, Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor and Director, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Jae-Ho Yang, M.D., M.P.H., Professor, Catholic University of Daegu, Gyeongsan, Korea

Tom Young, M.P.P., Ph.D., Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA

Bin Zhao, Doctoral Student, Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA

R. Thomas Zoeller, M.A., Ph.D., Professor, Biology Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA

Ami Zota, Sc.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA, USA

Abbreviations and an Annotated Statement


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