In bygone days, these brominated chemicals were enthusiastically added as flame retardants to synthetic fibres and polymers, and although PBBs have not been produced in the EU for the last ten years, their persistence and bioaccumulative properties mean that they are still present in the environment. Having reviewed the available data on PBB toxicity and occurrence in food, EFSA’s Panel on Contaminants has reassuringly concluded (in a report comprising over 150 pages), that the health risk to European consumers from current PBB dietary exposures is of “no concern”. The Panel noted that the levels of PBBs were low and declining in the environment and considered that this group of compounds was of “low priority for further research or monitoring efforts”.

[EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM). Scientific Opinion on polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) in food. Adopted on 22 September 2010. EFSA Journal 2010, 8(10): 1789. Accessible at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/scdocs/doc/1789.pdf on the website of the European Food Safety Authority.] {186671}

The above item was taken from the December 2010 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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