Alles im grünen Bereich

HBCD examination

FISCHER Group analyzes Styrofoam® waste for HBCD

The FISCHER Group offers to check whether an EPS waste contains a flame retardant and whether it is HBCD or already the state-of-the-art and therefore harmless PolyFR. The measurement is carried out by means of the method of X-ray fluorescence analysis. Here, the bromine content of the suspected flame retardant is measured. After extraction of a foam sample in a solvent, the extract provides information about the flame retardant used.

Why is that examination carried out?

EPS waste, especially from the insulation industry, often contains the dangerous flame retardant HBCD. However, it is usually unclear whether the delivered polystyrene waste is actually treated with HBCD.

On the one hand, HBCD-containing EPS being recycled and returned to the economic cycle must be prevented in order to exclude the dangers arising from the substance. On the other hand, polystyrene wastes that do not contain HBCD do not have to be incinerated, but can be processed to particularly high quality.

Good reasons to first of all analyze which disposal method is the correct one.

What is HBCD?

HBCD is a circular, brominated hydrocarbon molecule. The substance delays the ignition of plastics and slows down the spread of the flames. HBCD has long been the most economical and virtually the only flame retardant for polystyrene insulation in Europe. Due to its toxicity to aquatic organisms, its longevity and the ability to accumulate in living organisms, the substance is considered harmful to humans and the environment.

On the contrary, the HBCD alternative PolyFR has improved environmental properties and is classified as harmless due to several years of testing and development.

Thanks to the permission to operate an x-ray unit (according to § 3 of the x-ray ordinance), FISCHER has been able for quite some time now to examine its own starting materials. The know-how acquired this way is now being offered by FISCHER as a service in order to help companies check their materials properly.

The FISCHER Group ensures professional examinations by means of an employee trained in accordance with the X-ray Ordinance (§ 18a).

We are happy to check your EPS waste for you! Just contact our responsible employee.


Peter Franz
Am Waldeck 6
D-77855 Achern-Wagshurst
Phone: +49 7843 9943-175


Step 1:

You will send us two samples of 5g per substance by post. Please mark the samples with their internal reference number. For further information on shipping, please refer to the section “Shipping specifications".

Peter Franz
Am Waldeck 6
D-77855 Achern-Wagshurst

Step 2:
Our trained employee conducts the test using X-ray fluorescence analysis.

Step 3:

The test data for each sample is recorded in a detailed test report.

Step 4:

The test report will be sent to you in digital form within 48 hours.

We recommend to archive a reference sample of the submitted material together with the test report in your business.

Shipping specifications

To ensure the smoothest possible examination process, we ask you to adhere to the following guidelines when shipping the samples to be tested:

  • for each material to be tested, exactly two samples must be sent
  • each sample must contain at least 5g of material
  • the material to be examined must be approximately the size of a postcard
  • the material must be packed in airtight foil pouches
  • the foil bags are to be labelled with a reference number assigned to each material (two samples of the same material are given the same number)
  • each foil bag is to be labelled with the name of the company
  • the package must include both the phone number and the e-mail address of a contact person