Bromine compounds are often used as flame retardants. They are added to things such as furniture foam and plastic casings to make them less flammable. In the USA because of exposure to toxicity concerns, they are no longer allowed as a flame retardant.
Bromine is used as a Water Purification method. Bromine is used in pools and drinking water. In fact, is it a very important element in the purification of water, as it disinfects most or all of the water. It is often used as an alternative to chlorine.
Bromine is one of the items in drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade, Mountain Dew, Fanta, and in 10% of all sodas in the USA, yet it is banned throughout places such as Japan and Europe. This chemical in these drinks is a Bromine compound known as BVO, Brominated Vegetable Oil, derived from corn or soy and bonded with Bromine. It is used in these beverages as an emulsifier, to prevent the flavorings from separating and floating to the surface. Recently, Coca-Cola and Pepsi agreed to stop using BVO due to the fact that Bromine is a toxic endocrine disruptor that can damage your thyroid and lead to cancer, infertility, schizophrenia, and many other serious diseases.
- Fun Fact: Bromine was a component of World War I era poison gas.
- Scientific Fact: Along with mercury, bromine is one of two elements found to be a liquid at room temperature.