National Academies Backs Class-based OFR Assessments in US


A National Academies report has backed a class-based approach as the “only possible practical” one for addressing organohalogen flame retardants. But a committee of the independent institution says the substances cannot be treated as a single class for hazard assessment.

The finding comes as the culmination of a process requested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to develop a hazard assessment scoping document to inform its consideration of a ban on nonpolymeric, additive organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) from certain consumer products.

The 15 May report, prepared by a National Academies committee formed in response to this request, acknowledged “conceptual advantages” to addressing the chemicals as a class. These include more efficient assessments, avoiding regrettable substitutions and moving away from a default presumption of no risk where there is an absence of data.

Kelly Franklin

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