The US Environmental Protection Agency just made it public news that it has successfully identified as much as 30 possible substitutes for decaBDE (decabromodiphenyl ether), a chemical compound known to affect physical development and sometimes even accumulate in people and animals.
Thus, their end goal was to diminish the threats posed to public health by various electronics, vehicles and building materials which are presently made fireproof by this toxic flame retardant chemical.
Should things go as planned, decaBDE will completely go off the market by the end of 2013, and from that moment on all manufacturers continuing to use said harmful chemical compound will be required to first ask EPA for approval.
However, the organization wishes to make it as clear as possible that their assessment of these alternatives to decaBDE is, for the time being at least, only a laboratory-based research.
Therefore, further studies are needed to predict how both individuals and the environment will respond to these chemicals.
The organization's official website
informs us that Jim Jones from the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention argued how, “Virtually everyone agrees that EPA needs updated authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to more effectively assess and regulate potentially harmful chemicals like flame retardants.”
Furthermore, “Virtually everyone agrees that EPA needs updated authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to more effectively assess and regulate potentially harmful chemicals like flame retardants.”
Interestingly enough, decaBDE is by no means the only flameproofing chemical compound targeted by US's Environmental Protection Agency.
Quite the contrary: the organization wishes to gradually make all uses of bromine-based flame retardants obsolete, primarily because their use raises serious concerns.
The list of alternatives for decaBDE was made available online by EPA, and American citizens now have 60 days at their disposal to offer feedback on the organization's proposal.