Sector: public health

Posted: June 12, 2014

Identified chemicals are persistent, accumulate in the environment and have reproductive, developmental, and neurological toxicity

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing safer alternatives to the flame retardants now used in consumer and commercial products, including building insulation and products with flexible polyurethane foam.

“EPA’s findings for safer alternatives is great news for consumers and industry,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We will now have safer alternatives for use in our products from furniture to car seats to building insulation.”

Flame retardant chemicals such as hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE) raise concerns for human health and the environment including potential reproductive, developmental, and neurological effects and can be persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to aquatic organisms.

EPA is releasing the final report on alternatives to the flame retardant HBCD and releasing an updated draft report on alternatives to the flame retardant pentaBDE. These alternatives were identified through EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment Program.
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FRESNO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it recently awarded the State of California $174 million in federal funding to invest in water infrastructure projects. The California Department of Public Health received a $79 million grant for its Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the California State Water Resources Control Board received a $95 million grant for its Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The funding will be used for projects to control water pollution and provide low-cost loans for both drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades statewide.

“In the last 26 years, EPA has provided more than $4 billion in funding for California water projects alone” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Without this investment at the federal level, many communities would not be able to satisfy Californians’ basic needs for clean and safe drinking water.”
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