Sixth International Symposium On Flame Retardants

April 7-10, 2013
Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Union Square
San Francisco, California

Thank you all for making BFR2013 a great success!

BFR2013 Home

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you all for making BFR2013 such a great success! We had 245 participants from 23 countries and every session was well attended. It was particularly encouraging to observe the multi-disciplinary and multi-center composition of authors for most of the presentations. We need this synergy to move science forward.

All abstracts are posted on the website ( and will remain there until the organizers of BFR2015 transfer them into their website, along with all abstracts from previous Symposia.

Special Issue of Chemosphere

A number of authors will be invited to submit their full papers for publication in a special issue of Chemosphere. Session Chairs will nominate abstracts from both oral and poster sessions for inclusion, with a quick turnaround time. Dr. de Boer and I will serve as co-editors.

Student Awards

Congratulations to the two students selected to receive the "Åke Bergman and Bo Jansson Awards for Excellence in Student Presentations". They were:

  • Pamela Noyes from Duke University, USA, for her oral presentation:
    "Low exposure to BDE-209 reduces thyroid hormone levels and disrupts thyroid hormone signaling in adult fathead minnows", by Noyes P, Lema S, Macaulay L, Douglas K, Stapleton H.

  • Omotayo Sindiku from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, for her poster presentation:
    "Polybrominated dioxins and furans (PBDD/Fs) in e-waste polymers in Nigeria", by Sindiku O, Tysklind M, Osibanjo O, Babayemi J, Schlumer M, Weber R, Lundstedt S.

Important messages and information to share

During the course of the Symposium it was suggested to share the following information with all participants:

  1. We need to follow guidelines for abbreviations for the various FR classes to facilitate communication and minimize confusion. The International Organizing Committee recommends that authors follow the abbreviation system described in the open access Environment International article:

    "A novel abbreviation standard for organobromine, organochlorine and organophosphorus flame retardants and some characteristics of the chemicals" by: Å Bergman, A Rydén, R Law, J de Boer, A Covaci, M Alaee, L Birnbaum, M Petreas, M Rose, S Sakai, N Van den Eede, I van der Veen.

  2. An assessment of the state of the science of endocrine disruptors, prepared by a group of experts for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WHO, is now available at:

    Both the full report and a Summary for Decision Makers are available.

  3. The National Toxicology Program (NTP), a program within the National Institutes of Health, provides toxicological evaluations on substances of public health concern. The NTP solicits nominations for substances and mixtures for testing. Nominations can be made through:

  4. It was clear from the Panel Discussion that we need to communicate better and share our work with Regulators. Send your work on Flame Retardants to the following panelists:

    In California:

    Ms. Tonya Blood, Director, Bureau of Home Furnishings & Thermal Insulation:

    In the USA:

    Dr. Emma Lavoie, USEPA Design for the Environment:

    In the U.K.:

    Mr. Terry Edge, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills:

    Similarly, identify and contact regulators in your country.

Future meetings

The International Organizing Committee decided to hold the International Symposia every two years rather than every three. The Seventh International Symposium on Flame Retardants (BFR2015) will take place in Beijing, China on April 22-24, 2015.

The North American Workshop on Flame Retardants will take place in Indianapolis, IN, on June 22-24, 2014 (

Photographs and videos

We want to capture the spirit of BFR2013. If you have photographs or videos you could share with all, please upload them on:
If you have several photographs, you may want to send them as a zipped file.
Please select "Jones-Tucker, Kathleen" as the recipient from the drop down menu.
We will post them on the BFR2013 website.


We were able to plan a successful meeting because of the support from all our sponsors: From the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for who awarded us a Conference Support grant; the San Francisco Estuary Institute who provided planning and banking support; to all our generous vendors and exhibitors and all our volunteers. Special thanks are due to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control for its in-kind support: From our Director, Debbie Raphael, who gave the opening remarks, to all and everyone of our staff who helped with IT, graphics, media, administration and planning.

Thank you all for coming to San Francisco for BFR2013. Let’s continue collaborating to protect public health and the environment from toxic chemicals.


Myrto Petreas, Ph.D., MPH, BFR2013 Symposium Chair
Chief, Environmental Chemistry Branch
California Department of Toxic Substances Control
700 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 540-3624