HBCD alternatives assessment: narrow focus misses large problems

Polymeric flame retardant evaluated as HBCD alternative in Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment (EPA DfE) assessment presents unknown risks and possible undesirable trade-offs In reading the Executive Summary of the recent EPA DfE alternatives assessment it may appear that there is a safer chemical replacement for the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which is being globally phased out. Unlike HBCD, the replacement is a polymer or polymeric, meaning that many smaller pieces are joined together to make a large molecule,…

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Are we going from bad to worse?

New study shows that replacement chemicals for banned flame retardants are not proven safe A number of halogenated flame retardants are no longer manufactured or used because they present a hazard to human and environmental health. In some cases, non-halogenated chemicals promoted as safer alternatives are used as replacements. But according to a new study, the non-halogenated alternatives may not be much of an improvement. The study considered 13 non-halogenated chemicals of the following types: Inorganic (6) Organophosphorus (5) Nitrogen-based…

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