When you think "fire safety," do you think wood? Not me, but that's the message from the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, which today put out a news release titled "Plastic Pallets: From Fire Hazard to Toxic Platform?" The group's target: deca-bromine fire retardants in plastic pallets. "As a result of the grave concerns surrounding deca-bromine by researchers, environmental groups and fire fighters (who come into contact with the chemical in its gaseous form), lawmakers are beginning to ban the use of deca-bromine" the release says. "The states of Maine and Washington have already passed legislation and 10 other states have introduced bills that would ban the dangerous chemical. Various countries around the world have also banned deca-bromine in the electronic, furniture, toy and clothing industries. Officials may be unaware that deca-bromine is being used in these quantities in plastic pallets." The release touts wood pallets as "the benchmark for fire safety," and it quotes Bruce Scholnick, president and CEO of NWPCA, saying: "We recognize that alternative materials each have their place, and competition breeds innovation and quality improvements. But if new technologies prove to be harmful or risky, it needs to be excluded from use. There are alternative fire retardants. Let's face it, they may be more expensive, but what price does one put on human health and our environment?" It looks like the wood pallet makers plan to fight back against some recent gains by plastic pallet makers.
Wood pallet makers put up a fight
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