Product Review

Polystyrene Insulations Are Now HBCD-Free

Dow, Owens Corning, and Kingspan have joined the EPS industry in eliminating the hazardous halogenated flame retardant HBCD from their XPS insulations.

June 5, 2018

Dow Styrofoam, Owens Corning Foamular, and Kingspan GreenGuard insulations no longer contain the flame retardant HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane)—a persistent, bioaccumulative toxic chemical (PBT). With these changes, HBCD is no longer being used in either extruded (XPS) or expanded (EPS) polystyrene insulation.

HBCD was the primary flame retardant used in EPS and XPS for years. Though the thermal performance and low weight of EPS and XPS are impressive, the negative health and environmental impacts of HBCD are so significant that, in 2009, BuildingGreen recommended against the use of EPS and XPS as a standard insulation in green buildings.