EPA seeks alternate flame retardant for PS building insulation

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: September 24, 2013 2:36 pm ET
Updated: September 24, 2013 2:38 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Public Policy, Materials, Materials Suppliers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a draft rule looking for safer alternatives to the flame retardant chemical hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in polystyrene building insulation.

The report was developed with input from stakeholders from business, government, academia and environmental organizations, EPA said. The report said there are only two viable flame retardant alternatives to HBCD for use in expanded and extruded PS foam insulation under current manufacturing processes.

EPA is looking at alternatives to HBCD because the chemical has “persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic characteristics,” the agency said.

EPA points to one particular alternative, a butadiene styrene brominated copolymer, that is anticipated to be safer than HBCD and is currently in commercial production in the United States.

“Due to its large size, lack of low molecular weight components, and un-reactive functional groups, human health and ecotoxicity hazard for this copolymer are measured or predicted to be low,” the report said. “Its long-term behavior in the environment is not currently known. Chemical suppliers have commercialized this copolymer, and polystyrene manufacturers are testing the copolymer in their products to ensure that the polystyrene will meet all performance standards.”

The other alternative suggested is a tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA)-bis brominated ether derivative.

“While EPA continues to support much needed reform of the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is taking steps now to address the public’s concern with certain flame retardant chemicals, including making information available to companies to help them make decisions on safer chemicals,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in a statement. “The conclusions in this report are enabling companies who choose to move away from HBCD to do so with confidence that the potential for unintended consequences is minimized.”

The public comment period is open until Nov. 22.


Comments

EPA seeks alternate flame retardant for PS building insulation

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: September 24, 2013 2:36 pm ET
Updated: September 24, 2013 2:38 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

New Hexcel plant will supply carbon fiber for Airbus A350 XWB

September 30, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Hexcel Corp. is investing $250 million on a new carbon fiber plant in France, with part of the production going into the future Airbus SAS A350 XWB.    More

Image

LyondellBasell CEO Gallogly to retire

September 30, 2014 3:00 pm ET

James Gallogly, CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, on Sept. 29 announced plans to retire in 2015.    More

Image

Toyoda Gosei pleads guilty, agrees to $26 million fine for price fixing

September 30, 2014 11:27 am ET

Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $26 million fine for its alleged role in an international conspiracy to rig bids and fix ...    More

Image

Audacious vandal stuns Taipei Plas

September 29, 2014 4:59 pm ET

Melodrama erupted at the traditionally tranquil Taipei Plas trade show on Sept. 28 when a mysterious intruder flung red paint at the Baumüller Automat...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events