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Hexachlorobutadiene

C-6, Dolenpur

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
0.1 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
0.1 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Waste Water
1.00 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Land
Disclaimer
This sheet is a generic summary, designed to give the reader a basic level of background information about the substance in question. Great care has been taken to represent as effectively and correctly as possible the broad range of (not necessarily consistent) information which is available from a variety of sources. The reader must accept therefore that this sheet has no legal status and cannot be relied upon in any legal proceedings. SEPA disclaims any responsibility or liability whatsoever for errors and omissions in this sheet.
What is it?
Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) is a man-made, colourless, oily, non-flammable liquid with a strong smell. It easily evaporates, but does not dissolve in water.
What is it used for?
The main use of HCBD is in the chemical industry, particularly in chlorine plants to recover gases containing chlorine. It is used in the manufacture of lubricants and rubber compounds and as a heat transfer or hydraulic liquid. It is also used in some parts of the world as an agricultural fumigant.
Where does it come from?
The main sources of HCBD are from industry which is manufacturing or using it and from waste disposal sites (incinerators and landfills). HCBD is a man-made chemical - there are no natural sources.
How might it affect the environment?
HCBD is toxic to aquatic organisms and plants. It has a high potential to accumulate and persist in soils, sediments and water bodies. Levels of HCBD accumulate in organisms (particularly fish and shellfish) and concentrate up the food chain. Its persistence and tendency to accumulate in the environment mean that it could have environmental effects on a global scale.
How might exposure to it affect human health?
Exposure to levels of HCBD typically found in the environment is unlikely to damage human health. However, at higher levels (following an accidental release or in occupational settings) it has been shown to cause irritation and possible kidney damage when inhaled. The UK Committee on Toxicology concluded that the carcinogenic risks posed by exposure to HCBD were minimal.
What steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
In the UK (including Scotland) emissions of HCBD are controlled mainly through regulations on releases of substances to surface waters; the Pollution Prevention and Control regulations; the Food and Environmental Protection Act (FEPA 1985); and the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR 1986). It is also listed as a "red list substance", highlighting that it is of particular environmental concern in the UK. European Directives which control emissions of HCBD include those covering pollution of the aquatic environment by dangerous substances (76/464); and it is one of eleven "priority hazardous substances" for the proposed Water Framework Directive. Internationally it is listed as a candidate substance for the OSPAR and Helsinki conventions which protect the marine environments of the north-east Atlantic and Baltic sea respectively.