ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs) & Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options

Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs) & Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

CAS ID #: 67774-32-7, 32536-52-0, 1163-19-5, 32534-81-9

Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Endocrine (Glands and Hormones), Hepatic (Liver)

Cancer Effects: Reasonably Anticipated to be a Human Carcinogen

Chemical Classification: Dioxins, Furans, PCBs (contain phenyl rings of carbon atoms), Phenols/phenoxy acids

Summary:

Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) are manufactured chemicals. They are added to the plastics used to make products like computer monitors, televisions, textiles, plastic foams, etc. to make them difficult to burn. PBBs can leave these plastics and find their way into the environment. PBBs are usually colorless to off-white solids. PBBs are mixtures of brominated biphenyl compounds known as congeners.

In the United States, manufacturing of PBBs was stopped in 1976. PBBs are still around in the environment because they do not degrade easily or quickly.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame-retardant chemicals that are added to plastics and foam products to make them difficult to burn. There are different kinds of PBDEs; soµme have only a few bromine atoms attached, while some have as many as ten broµmine attached to the central molecule.

PBDEs exist as mixtures of similar chemicals called congeners. Because they are mixed into plastics and foams rather than bound to them, PBDEs can leave the products that contain them and enter the environment.

Community Members 

Community Members
  • ToxFAQs : Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs)

    Fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about a contaminant and its health effects.

  • ToxFAQs : Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

    Fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about a contaminant and its health effects.

  • Public Health Statement : Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs)

    Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.

  • Public Health Statement : Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

    Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.

  • Toxicological and Health Professionals 

    Toxicological and Health Professionals
  • Toxicological Profile

    Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for a hazardous substance.

  • Priority List of Hazardous Substances

    Prioritization of substances based on a combination of their frequency, toxicity, and potential for human exposure at National Priorities List (NPL) sites.

  • Minimal Risk Levels (MRL)

    The MRL is an estimate of the daily human exposure to a hazardous substance that is likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse, non-cancer health effects over a specified duration of exposure. The information in this MRL serves as a screening tool to help public health professionals decide where to look more closely to evaluate possible risk of adverse health effects from human exposure.

  • Top of Page

    Contact Us:
    • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
      4770 Buford Hwy NE
      Atlanta, GA 30341
    • 800-CDC-INFO
      (800-232-4636)
      TTY: (888) 232-6348
    • New Hours of Operation
      8am-8pm ET/Monday-Friday
      Closed Holidays
      Contact CDC-INFO
    USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
    Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

    A-Z Index

    1. A
    2. B
    3. C
    4. D
    5. E
    6. F
    7. G
    8. H
    9. I
    10. J
    11. K
    12. L
    13. M
    14. N
    15. O
    16. P
    17. Q
    18. R
    19. S
    20. T
    21. U
    22. V
    23. W
    24. X
    25. Y
    26. Z
    27. #