On Monday, the sole U.S. manufacturer of two flame retardants pledged to cease making both products next year. The firm had initiated discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency about a potential phase-out just last month (SN: 11/1/03, p. 275: Flaming Out? Days may be numbered for two fire retardants). This week's announcement accelerates by 4 years the compounds' recently mandated elimination in California. The European Union had already announced a ban on the two flame retardants, which are widely used in furniture and plastic products. That ban is slated to go into effect next year.