Responsible Disposal of Flame Retarded Foam and Plastic: Developing the Basic Science


Event: Responsible Disposal of Flame Retarded Foam and Plastic: Developing the Basic Science
When: February 8, 2017
Where: Berkeley, CA
Please contact [email protected] for more information about this project.

This one-day scientific workshop brought together experts from academia and industry to develop research projects pertaining to more responsible disposal of foams and plastics containing flame retardants. There are a significant number of knowledge gaps concerning good end-of-life practices for products that contain flame retardants. Participants had the opportunity to workshop ideas for scientific research to address these knowledge gaps, including research on: available technologies; alternative or lab-scale technologies; and human health, environmental, and occupational impacts. Participants were asked to complete some pre-work in advance.


    • Discuss the flame retardants used in consumer and other products and the implications for recycling and waste management.
    • Explore opportunities for scientific research to advance improved end-of-life management of these products.
    • Develop collaborative research projects with other leading experts.

DRAFT Agenda

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

6:30 PM (Optional) Welcome Dinner & Networking

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

8:30 Registration & Networking
Continental breakfast

9:00 Welcome
Catherine Koshland, PhD
, Wood-calvert Professor in Engineering, VC Undergraduate Education, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

9:10 Introductions of Participants

9:30 Session 1: Problem Overview

01Arlene Blum, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Chemistry, UC Berkeley and Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute
Flame retardants in upholstered furniture

02Sara Petty, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Green Science Policy Institute
Towards responsible disposal

10:00 BREAK

10:15 Session 2: Research Opportunities – Unknowns and Technology Needs (PANEL)

03Donald Lucas, PhD, Combustion Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Thermal Processing of FRs – A real solution or more problems?

04Rob Hale, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
The influence of environmental factors on the aqueous leaching of flame retardants from microplastics

05Morton Barlaz, PhD, Professor, North Carolina State University
Physical, Chemical and Biological Processes Governing Brominated Flame Retardant Release from Landfills

06Graham Peaslee, PhD, Professor, University of Notre Dame
PIXE for identifying halogenated flame retardants in foam

11:15 Small Group Discussion & Report Back


1:00 Group discussion: Pitching ideas for research opportunities

1:30 Session 3: Developing Research Opportunities Part 1
Small-group work

2:30 BREAK

2:45 Session 4: Developing Research Opportunities Part 2
Small-group work

3:45 Report Back & Large Group Discussion

4:45 Commitments & Closing

5:15 END

6:30 (Optional) Networking Dinner