Substitutes for Flame Retardant Chemicals

The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Design for the Environment Alternatives Assessment Program has recently released a report on alternative solutions that manufactures can use in place of highly toxic flame retardant chemicals, and in particular, decaBDE. DecaBDE is used extensively in the construction of building materials, automobiles, and electronics but it is linked to developmental problems in both humans and animals. The report provides information on thirty different alternatives to decaBDE which will not longer be produced in this country by the end of 2013.

The alternative chemicals that are discussed in the EPA’s report are readily available in the marketplace and will be used with increased frequency as the decaBDE ceases production. These alternatives are not considered environmentally friendly as each contains different toxic components. Some are consider safer for human exposure but cause greater environmental harm. Others are less hazardous than decaBDE but still contain toxic chemicals. The EPA has stressed that on-going testing and monitoring will be necessary to completely understand the long-term hazardous impact of these alternative solutions.

The Design for the Environment Alternatives Assessment Program helps governments, businesses, and industrial sectors select safer chemicals and provides research and data on environmental and human impacts.

WasteCare Wants You to┬áRemember: If your business uses flame retardant chemicals it’s important to understand the dangers to both your employees, your customers, and your community. Use research to make the best decision possible and everyone will benefit from it!