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.