Brominated diphenylether (C12H(10-x)BrxO; whereby x = 1 to 10)


  • group of chemically similar substances (209 congeners): different number and position of the bromine atoms on the two phenyl rings of the diphenylether.
  • similar features to those of polychlorinated biphenyls
  • white, pungent smelling crystals

Main sources

  • use and disposal of products with polybrominated diphenylethers
  • sewage
  • product gaseous emissions
  • landfills
  • flame retardants in plastics, textiles, construction materials, electronic equipment, motor vehicles
  • used in large quantities

Thresholds for the reporting requirement of facilities in accordance with Annex 2 PRTRO

(Ordinance on the Register relating to Pollutant Release and the Transfer of Waste and of Pollutants in Waste Water)

  • Air                -
  • Water          1 kg/year
  • Soil              1 kg/year


  • vary according to substance
  • low-brominated PBDEs (PentaBDE, OctaBDE): toxic, possibly hormonally active (the less brominated, the more toxic)
  • high degree of bioaccumulation
  • broadly dispersed in the environment and in remote regions, and detected in animal tissue, water and sediments


  • PentaBDE and OctaBDE: banned since 2004 in the EU and Switzerland
  • DecaBDE: banned since 2008 in the EU

Last modification 04.07.2018

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