Dust on computers in government and university offices throughout the country, including one tested at the University of Texas, contained measurable levels of several fire retardant chemicals that are under mounting scrutiny as human health risks, according to a report to be released today in Austin.
A family of chemicals, similar to now-banned polychlorinated biphenyls, that have widely used as fire retardants in consumer products. The principal types of brominated fire retardants, and their primary uses, are:
Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA): Epoxy resins (printed circuit boards and printed wire boards of computers and other electronic products), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (housings of computers, PC monitors, televisions and other electronic products).
Decabromodiphenyl Oxide (Deca-BDE): High impact polystyrene (electronic equipment), polyethylenes (wire and cables of electronic equipment), upholstery textiles, building and construction applications.
Octabromodiphenyl Oxide (Octa-BDE): ABS plastics (PC monitors, housings for televisions, mobile phones and copy machine parts).