Department of the Environment and Water Resources
About the factsheet
What are brominated flame retardants?
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs), are commonly used to reduce the flammability of office and household items including computers, carpet, furniture fabrics and mattresses. They are also used in insulation products and in the upholstery and internal fittings of motor vehicles. Approximately 80 different types of brominated flame retardant are used commercially. The more widely used are the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
What are PBDEs?
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a very common class of BFRs, and have attracted the most attention to date because of their potential to persist in the environment. Two commercially produced compounds of PBDEs which are of particular interest are: