Tuesday, July 31, 2012

EPA Identifies Substitutes for Toxic Flame Retardant Chemical

The USEPA has released a draft report on alternatives to the "toxic flame retardant chemical known as decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE)." Acting Assistant Administrator Jim Jones had mentioned at a Senate hearing last week that the Agency was in the final steps of eliminating DecaBDE from products. This new action is part of EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program. The draft report being released "profiles the environmental and human health hazards on 30 alternatives to decaBDE, which will be phased out of production by December 2013."

EPA notes that "the alternatives to decaBDE characterized in the report are already on the market and will be used increasingly as decaBDE is phased out." EPA also notes that while overall the alternatives are considered good replacements for decaBDE, they have "differing hazard characteristics and are associated with trade-offs."

More information can be found in EPA's news release.

The full 812-page alternatives assessment for decaBDE can be viewed as a PDF here.

More information about the flame retardants alternatives project can be found here.

More information on EPA's DfE program can be found here.

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