EPA to scrutinize flame retardants used in plastics industry
NEW YORK : Five flame retardants commonly used in the plastics industry are coming under the scrutiny of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Of the chemicals named, those used in plastics include:
2-Ethylhexyl ester 2,3,4,5- tetrabromobenzoate (TBB) 1,2-Ethylhexyl 3,4,5,6-tetrabromo-benzenedicarboxylate or (2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6 tetrabromophthalate (TBPH) Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) 2-Propanol, 1,3-dichloro-, phosphate (TDCPP) Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and related congeners Both TBB and TBPH are used in liquid flame retardants for polyurethane furniture foams.
TDCPP is also found in the PU foam used in upholstered furniture. TCEP is also used in PU foam and is found in furniture, baby products and some carpet backing. HBCD is typically found in expanded polystyrene and extruded PS building materials such as insulation.
The agency said it plans to use a “structure-based approach,” grouping flame retardants with similar characteristics together for assessment. EPA plans to use the assessments to understand the other chemicals in the group, which currently lack sufficient data for a full risk assessment. The entire review process could take a year or more.