The European Union will ban two of the three most common PBDE formulations starting in 2004. California is the only U.S. state to take action, passing a law to ban certain PBDEs, but not until 2008. Several Japanese electronic companies will be phasing PBDEs from their products. Other countries and individual manufacturers are taking steps to eliminate their use of PBDEs.
PBDE concentrations are 10-20 times higher in North Americans than in Europeans. European concentrations are about twice those of Japanese levels. Calculations performed by Ronald Hites of Indiana University show that body concentrations have been "exponentially increasing, with a doubling time of 4 to 5 years."
From the About Chemistry blog: