Albemarle Corp. is discontinuing production of hexabromocyclododecane-based flame retardants to focus on an environmentally-friendlier flame retardant.

HBCD has been the most commonly used type of flame retardant. In 2011, the European Union announced it would ban HBCD in 2015. Other countries also have banned the product, which is used in polystyrene foam boards used in construction.

Albemarle, a Baton Rouge-based specialty chemicals maker, said it will be producing its GreenCrest polymeric fire retardants as an alternative to HBCD. Albemarle first began supplying commercial quantities of GreenCrest to the market in 2013.