Flaming Out? Days may be numbered for two fire retardants

10:03am, October 29, 2003

This August, at a meeting of Environmental Protection Agency scientists who are studying emerging pollutants, one family of chemicals unexpectedly stole the show: brominated flame retardants. Recently slated for bans in Europe and California, two classes of these compounds–mixes of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)–have had a low profile within the agency. But rank-and-file chemists and toxicologists raised what became the meeting's central question: What would it take for EPA to consider nationwide bans?

As it turns out, the U.S. manufacturer of both flame retardants has taken things into its own hands.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News