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You are here: EPA Home » DfE » Flame-Retardant Alternatives for DecaBDE Partnership

Flame-Retardant Alternatives for DecaBDE Partnership

About This Project | Milestones | Participants

DfE has convened a multi-stakeholder partnership to explore the human health and environmental profiles of functional and viable alternatives to decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), a chemical of potential concern. Participation of all interest groups is aimed at ensuring that the full range of views are considered from the start of the project and that they are incorporated appropriately into the project objective and methodology. The goal is for the resulting information to help inform the process of substituting to safer alternatives, with reduced health and environmental concerns, for decaBDE.

DecaBDE is a flame retardant used widely in a number of materials to meet flammability standards. Uses of DecaBDE include electronics, wire and cable, building materials, automotive and aviation parts, shipping pallets, and textile coatings.

Why is DfE conducting an alternatives assessment?

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 the diet, at the workplace, and in the home. In December 2009, the largest commercial producers and suppliers of decaBDE in the United States agreed to phase out use of the chemical by 2012.

How do I get more information?

If you are interested in participating in this partnership, or if you would like more information, please contact Emma Lavoie of DfE at 202-564-0951 or Lavoie.Emma@epa.gov.

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