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 Materials Public Policy Sustainability Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations

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

Dow Chemical to merge chlorine operations with Olin

March 27, 2015 12:43 pm ET

Dow Chemical Co. is combining a large part of its chlorine value chain with specialty chemicals and ammunition maker Olin Corp. to create a global...    More

Image

Eastman Chemical expanding Tritan co-polyester capacity

March 27, 2015 10:00 am ET

Eastman Chemical Co.'s Tritan-brand co-polyester business continues to grow, with 35 million pounds of capacity added late last year and a second...    More

Image

PolyOne's Patterson focused on keeping the momentum going

March 27, 2015 9:30 am ET

New PolyOne CEO Robert Patterson sees a lot of good things when he looks at his company, which ranks as North America's largest compounder and...    More

Image

Improvements to Radici's nylon line takes it into more applications

March 27, 2015 9:00 am ET

Radici Group, the Italian-headquartered materials firm, outlined the benefits of its Radilon and Radistrong nylon products at NPE 2015.    More

Sun Plastech, Plastics Color Corp. note major milestones at NPE

March 27, 2015 9:00 am ET

Sun Plastech Inc. and Plastics Color Corp. — two well-known materials firms — are marking anniversaries at NPE 2015.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

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

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events