EPA to Take Action on Chemicals Used in Dyes, Flame Retardants, and Industrial Detergents Efforts to limit exposure and reduce harm to people
Release date: 08/18/2010
WASHINGTON – As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s commitment to strengthen and reform chemical management, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released action plans today to address the potential health risks of benzidine dyes, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and nonylphenol (NP)/nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). The chemicals are widely used in both consumer and industrial applications, including dyes, flame retardants, and industrial laundry detergents. The plans identify a range of actions the agency is considering under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Read full release
Our Green Lab blog commends the EPA for their continued efforts to make our planet a safe environment for all living things. These efforts align with the chemical industry’s commitment to sustainability in products and to consumer safety. Today, the chemical industry spends millions of dollars on green chemistry R&D to create and introduce new eco-friendly solutions for many business sectors.
For example, the flame retardants that are critical ingredients in many consumer electronic products, as well as the interiors of automobiles and airplanes, save lives and protect property from fires. These flame retardants are now available as eco-friendly alternatives to products from the past. Trial testing by industry leader Albemarle and its Earthwise brand are currently underway and many of these new green alternatives will be introduced to the market later this year.
High-efficiency polystyrene insulation is very important to everyone’s efforts to reduce energy consumption and global warming, but this insulation requires highly effective flame retardants to maintain fire safety. The chemical industry has been working to develop a new generation of flame retardants that does not present the same concerns as HBCD. The new products are based on polymers (like a plastic) with larger molecules, which impede their absorption by humans, animals and plants.