Bigger Not Always Better for Toxic Chemicals: Study finds “Green” Flame Retardant Breaks Down into Possibly Harmful Products

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy being green. Kermit the Frog probably didn’t have chemistry in mind when he sang that line, but according to researchers from Germany, the phrase rings true for a purportedly “green” flame retardant. Many everyday products contain flame retardant chemicals which are often found to be toxic to humans and ecosystems. A new peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology, found that heat and ultraviolet light can break down a flame retardant marketed as eco-friendly into smaller, potentially harmful chemicals.…

Read more

Phosphate flame retardants: Bad to the bone?

If you go to the CDC’s ToxGuide it will tell you that data suggest Phosphate Ester Flame Retardants are widely distributed throughout the human body. You’ll also find this: Normal human levels? No data available Biomarkers? There are no biomarkers that can be used to quantify exposure… Level in air? No data… Levels in sediment and soil? No data… Read ToxFAQs and you’ll find “there is not enough data” to determine if they produce cancer in humans (though increases in…

Read more

HBCD is on the way out – but use of questionable alternatives will persist

This week, the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. But internationally, countries that have signed the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants have a different reason to give thanks: the amendment adding HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) to Annex A (Elimination) takes effect today. Under Annex A of the Convention, countries have up to five years to eliminate uses of HBCD in plastic foam building insulation, and any insulation materials containing HBCD during that phase-out period will need to be labeled. HBCD is a persistent,…

Read more