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Safer Choice

Partnership to Evaluate Flame Retardant Alternatives to DecaBDE

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About the Flame Retardant Alternatives to DecaBDE Partnership

This assessment evaluates potential hazards associated with 29 flame retardants that are likely to be functional alternatives to decaBDE. Note that a chemical listed in the report as an alternative does not constitute EPA's endorsement of it. All of the alternatives are associated with some trade-offs; this report does not identify any functional chemicals with low concern for all human health and environmental hazard endpoints.

Announcements

On January 29, 2014, through its Design for the Environment (DfE) program, EPA released a final alternatives assessment for the flame retardant, decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE).

A draft of this assessment was open for public review and comment during the period from July 30, 2012 to September 30, 2012.

Why did DfE conduct an alternatives assessment?

Under its Existing Chemical Management Program, EPA issued an action plan for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), calling for DfE to convene a multi-stakeholder alternatives assessment for decaBDE to help decisionmakers choose safer alternatives to decaBDE. Participation of all interest groups was aimed at ensuring that the full range of views was considered from the start of the project and that they were incorporated appropriately into the project objective and methodology. Read more about DfE's Alternatives Assessments.

Background on Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DecaBDE)

EPA is concerned that certain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment. This concern extends to decaBDE, which breaks down into other PBDE congeners. Various PBDEs have been studied for ecotoxicity in mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates. In some cases, current levels of PBDE exposure for wildlife may be at or near adverse effect levels. Human exposure to decaBDE can occur through occupations that manufacture flame retardants or products that contain flame retardants, as well as in recycling operations. Consumer exposure to decaBDE is possible because decaBDE can be released from products in the home and become a component in household dust.

In December 2009, the largest commercial producers and suppliers of decaBDE in the United States agreed to phase out use of the chemical by the end of 2013.

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Milestones

All publications from this partnership are available online.

Milestones Completion Date
Partnership kickoff meeting October 18, 2010
Finalize project scope December 22, 2010
Finalize the identification of alternative flame retardants and inherently fire-safe alternative technologies January 2011
Completed draft report, "An Alternatives Assessment for the Flame Retardant Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DecaBDE)" for public review and comment July 30, 2012
Posted final report, "An Alternatives Assessment for the Flame Retardant Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DecaBDE)" January 29, 2014
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Partnership Participants

Academics
Alissa Cordner Brown University
Julie Herbstman Columbia University
Heather Stapleton Duke University
Joseph G. Allen Harvard School of Public Health
Carol Handwerker Purdue University
Inez Hua Purdue University
Jeffery W. Youngblood Purdue University
Alexander B. Morgan University of Dayton Research Institute
Ravi Mosurkal University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Ramaswamy Nagarajan University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Jack Geibig University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Alexandra Bergstein Yale University
Consultants
Andy Beevers Applied Market Information
Cris A. Williams ENVIRON
Ann Blake Environmental and Public Health Consulting
Susan Hazen Hazen Consulting
Mark Buczek Independent Consultant
Bob Kerr Pure Strategies
Ken Soltys Pure Strategies
Pat Beattie SciVera
Tom Osimitz SciVera
Andy Hall Sustainable Value Cycle Solutions
Emily Campbell ToxServices
Margaret Whittaker ToxServices
NGOs
Pamela Miller Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Moira McKernan while at American Bird Conservancy
Sue Chiang Center for Environmental Health
Anna Lennquist ChemSec
Jerker Ligthart ChemSec
Kathleen A. Curtis Clean and Healthy New York
Sharyle Patton Commonweal
Susan Klosterhaus Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Mike Belliveau Environmental Health Strategy Center
Arlene Blum Green Science Policy Institute
Alex Madonik Green Science Policy Institute
David Santillo Greenpeace International
Gary Cohen Health Care Without Harm (IGC)
Tom Lent Healthy Building Network
Jim Vallette Healthy Building Network
Joelle M. Fishkin International Association of Fire Chiefs
Ken Kraus while at International Association of Fire Chiefs
Ken LaSala International Association of Fire Chiefs
Ed Plaugher International Association of Fire Chiefs
Michael Murray National Wildlife Federation
Brian Penttila Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Ed Hopkins Sierra Club
Sheila Davis Silicon Vallye Toxics Coalition
Baskut Tuncak The Center for International Environmental Law
Pam Eliason Toxics Use Reduction Institute
Laurie Valerian Washington Toxics Coalition
Flame Retardant Industry
Hideo Kawasaki AKEDA Corporation
Tetsuo Kamimoto ADEKA Corporation
Ray Dawson Albemarle
Susan Landry Albemarle
Robert Simon American Chemistry Council
Jackson Morrill American Chemistry Council
Guru Zingde Amfine
Jay Ghosh BASF
Nikolas Kaprinidis BASF
Martin Klatt BASF
Rodrigo Lima BASF
Al Wiedow while at BASF
Dick Stob BurnGard
Tim Reilly Clariant
Adrian Beard Clariant
Geoffrey Gettliffe Clariant
Thomas Kelley Dover Chemical
Maggie Baumann FRX Polymers, Inc.
Marc Lebel FRX Polymers, Inc.
Jan-Pleun Lens FRX Polymers, Inc.
Robert Campbell Great Lakes Solutions, a Chemtura Business
Mary Harscher Great Lakes Solutions, a Chemtura Business
Steve Scherrer Great Lakes Solutions, a Chemtura Business
Gary Rex J. M. Huber Corp
Pierre Georlette ICL Industrial Products
Marc Leifer ICL Industrial Products
Sergei Levchik ICL Industrial Products
Hanna Silberberg ICL Industrial Products
Joel Tenney ICL Industrial Products
Andy Wang ICL Industrial Products
Gerald Roston InPore Technologies, Inc.
Karl-Heinz Spriesterbach Nabaltec
Brigitte Dero Phosphorous, Inorganic & Nitrogen Flame Retardants Association
Doug Hunter Southern Clay Products
Compounders and Resin Manufacturers
Carmen Rodriquez Altulgas International
Emile Homsi DSM
John Friddle Eagle Performance Products
Robert McKay GE Plastics (part of Sabic)
Harald Wiedemann Huntsman
Patricia Hubbard PolyOne
Steve Paolucci PolyOne
Product Manufacturers
   Aerospace
Lisa Goldberg Aerospace Industry Association
Susan Baker Boeing
Charles Ingebretson Boeing
John Harris Boeing
Chris T. Zervas Boeing
Walter Desrosier General Aviation Manufacturers Association
Jim Boyle Majilite
Richard Forselius Sikorsky Aircraft/United Technology Corporation
   Automotive
Filipa Rio Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Amy Lilly Hyundai KIA America Technical Center
Jake Welland Hyundai KIA American Technical Center
John Kreitz Sage Automotive Interiors
Lynn Smith United States Council for Automotive Research
Bing Xu United States Council for Automotive Research
   Electronics
Angus Hsieh Acer
Fern Abrams Association Connecting Eletronics Industries (IPC)
Albert Tsang Dell
Helen Holder Hewlett-Packard
Cory Robertson Hewlett-Packard
Bob Pfahl iNEMI
Christopher Cleet Information Technology Industry Council
Mark Ezzo Intel
Tim McGrady LG Electronics
David Thompson Panasonic
Mike Moss Samsung
Keika Hirai Sony
Doug Smith Sony
Craig Hershberg Toshiba
   Shipping Pallet
Mike Mullin Brambles
David Deal CHEP
Larry Culleen Arnold and Porter, for iGPS
Gary Glass iGPS
Lewis Taffer iGPS
Bruce Torrey iGPS
   Textiles
Janan Rabiah Association for Contract Textiles
Brad Miller Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association
Dave Panning Glen Raven, Inc.
Gabe Wing Herman Miller
Ryan Trainer International Sleep Products Association
Aaron Smith Kimball International Hardy Poole, National Textile Association
Barry A. Cik Naturepedic
Yan Chen while at Schneller
Sarah Friedman SEAMS
Bob Beaty TSG Finishing
Recyclers
David Wagger Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.
George Martin Leigh Fibers, Inc.
U.S. Federal Government
Rohit Khanna Consumer Product Safety Commission
Dale Ray Consumer Product Safety Commission
Treye Thomas Consumer Product Safety Commission
Linda S. Birnbaum National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program
June K. Dunnick National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Rick Davis National Institute of Standards and Technology
Jeffrey W. Gilman National Institute of Standards and Technology
Shannon Cuniff while at the Office of the Secretary of Defense
Paul J. Yaroschak Office of the Secretary of Defense
Peggy Auerbach U.S. Army
Nikki Bass U.S. Army
George Murnyak while at the U.S. Army
Andrew Rak Noblis, for the U.S. Army
Gwendolyn Hudson U.S. EPA, Office of Children's Health Protection (ASPH Fellow)
Onyemaechi Nweke U.S. EPA, Office of Environmental Justice
Linda Barr U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
Paul Randall U.S. EPA, National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Bradley Grams U.S. EPA, Region 5
Stephen Sturdivant U.S. EPA, Region 6
John Katz U.S. EPA, Region 9
Eileen Sheehan U.S. EPA, Region 9
Barnett Rattner U.S. Geological Survey
State and Local Governments
Bob Boughton California Department of Toxic Substances Control
Robert Brushia California Department of Toxic Substances Control
June Soo Park California Department of Toxic Substances Control
Debbie Raphael California Department of Toxic Substances Control
Tom Hornshaw Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Gary Styzens Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Andrea Lani Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Deborah Rice while at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Alister Innes Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Alex Stone Washington State Department of Ecology
International
Pim Leonards ENFIRO
Shannon Castellarin Environment Canada
Kate McKlerlie while at Environment Canada
Lothar Lissner Kooperationsstelle Hamburg IFE GmbH
Raluca Aurora Stepa Kooperationsstelle Hamburg IFE GmbH
Harry Baikowitz Independent Consultant
DecaBDE Partnership EPA Contacts
Clive Davies U.S. EPA, Design for the Environment
Emma Lavoie U.S. EPA, Design for the Environment
Technical Consultant
Laura Heine Clean Production Action
Abt Associates, Inc.
SRC Inc.

How do I get more information?

If you would like more information, please contact Laura Romano at Romano.Laura@epa.gov.