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May 4, 2022

Intumescent + clay for PIN SLS 3D-printing

Triazinyl 22% with organo-clay 3% achieved UL 94 V-0 (1.6 mm) in SLS-printed TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). TPU with 25% aluminium diethyl phosphonate (AlPi) was also tested (but not AlPi plus clay).

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Wastewater copper removed recycled as FR

A complex, magnetic iron – zinc compound was lab tested to adsorb copper ions then tested as an FR coating for PU foam. An iron – zinc – ammonium compound (FeO-ZIF8) was synthetised from magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles, zinc nitrate and 2-methylimidazole.

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Chitosan – DOPO PIN FR for epoxy

The bio-polymer chitosan, modified with nitrogen, was used with the PIN FR DOPO, achieving UL 94 V-0 (3.2 mm) in epoxy. Chitosan is the second most abundant bio-polymer, after cellulose, and the most abundant organic compound containing nitrogen, and can be sourced e.g. from seafood wastes.

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Liquid chitosan – P FR for natural fibres

Chitosan reacted with phosphoric acid was tested as a liquid PIN FR for natural fibres used to reinforce vinyl ester resin. Chitosan solution, prepared using acetic acid, was phosphorus-loaded by reacting with phosphoric acid.

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Impacts of aryl phosphate PIN FRs on PC/ABS smoke emission.

Neat PC/ABS, polymer + anti-dripping agent PTFE, polymer + PTFE + 10% loading of six different aryl phosphate PIN FRs (TPP, CDP, RDP, BTPP, BTP, Sol-DP) were tested for fire performance, smoke emission and smoke toxicity as per EN 45545-2.

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Review concludes ‘conflicting conclusions’ on long-term environmental risks of organophosphate esters (OPEs).

Analysis of over 100 studies and publications covers 18 OPEs, which are used as plasticisers and/or flame retardants. Conclusions are that OPEs are widespread in oceans and in the atmosphere, both in coastal waters near industrial regions, and also in remote oceans and polar regions.

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April 8, 2022

TCO Generation9 targets safer chemicals

Updated certification for IT equipment again restricts halogenated substances and authorises safer PIN FRs. The TCO Certified Generation9, the health, environment and worker protection label for office and home electronics, is updated to further address sustainability of raw material supply, circularity and lifetime extension, as well as now covering chemicals used in IT manufacture (not only chemicals present in the final product).

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EU court confirms halogenated FR ban

The European General Court has validated the EU Ecodesign Regulation ban on halogenated FRs in TV and monitor cases. The Court has dismissed a challenge brought by BSEF, an industry group whose members are four companies manufacturing brominated flame retardants FRs (Br-FRs).

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Proposed regulatory text for update of CPR

To 1st June. The EU has published for comment the proposed text of the revised Construction Products Regulation (CPR). pinfa already made input during the preparatory phases, see pinfa Newsletter n°21

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EU textiles industry BAT regulatory update

Draft update to BAT will require consideration of substitution of brominated flame retardants for textiles finishing. Under the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), EU Best Available Techniques (BAT) specifications, where defined, are legally applicable to all concerned industry installations in Europe. pinfa made detailed input to the process of updating the textiles industry BAT reference document (BREF) in 2020 (see pinfa Newsletter n°114).

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EU consultation: chemicals information

To 12th April. Proposals to coordinate different chemicals assessment procedures and improve chemical data access. As part of the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, the Commission proposes to streamline chemicals assessments by various EU agencies (chemicals ECHA, food safety EFSA, environment EEA and medicines EMA) as well as EU expert groups, scientific committees and contractor studies.

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Reminder: EU consultation on REACH

To 15th April 2022: polymers, endocrine disruption, mixture effects, environmental footprint, essential use. See pinfa Newsletter n°133.

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Canada assessment of 1-bromopropane

Canada has proposed to classify the non-FR chemical 1-bromopropane (nPB) persistent, health and environment risk. 1-bromopropane is principally used as a solvent, degreaser or intermediate in chemicals production, adhesives and sealants, not as a flame retardant.

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EU public consultation: Toy Safety Directive

To 25th May 2022. Should rules on chemicals in toys should be stricter? Which chemicals should be targeted or banned? The consultation questionnaire, open to the public and to stakeholders, asks whether rules on chemicals in toys should be made stricter, what types of chemical risks should be targeted, how the Directive should address hazardous chemicals and how chemicals should be indicated on toy labels.

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EU public consultation: RoHS review

To 2nd June 2022. RoHS and recycling, Critical Raw materials, REACH. Process for updating restricted substances. The RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment 2011/65/EU) is currently under review. The open consultation targets both the general public, with four questions concerning RoHS and recycling (hazardous substances in recycled materials, recycling costs) and 30 questions for industry and specialists.

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Debate on EPA risk conclusions on HBCD

US EPA’s conclusion on risks of the brominated FR, HBCD, faces questions on “whole-chemical” approach.. The EPA’s final Risk Assessment of hexabromocyclododecane and the cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster (HBCD), December 2021, see pinfa Newsletter n°135, concludes impacts on aquatic plants, fish embryos, aquatic invertebrates, earthworms and priority human health impact on the thyroid hormone.

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US’ grim sequels to Grenfell

Two recent fires in public housing in the US, leaving 29 dead lead to calls for reform in fire safety regulations and funding.17 people died in the Twin Parks North West public housing building, in th...

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Increasing threat of wildfires

UNEP predicts global increase of extreme wildfires and recommends ecosystem management and asset protection. Uncontrollable wildfires will increase, even in regions previously unaffected, because of climate change, land-use and population change, resulting in significant climate emissions, particulates and toxic smoke.

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Flame Retardancy Polymer Science

New 470-page book on fire analysis principles and applications inc. flame retardancy, toxicity, standards and regulations. Addresses techniques for characterisation of fire and flame behaviour and smoke toxicity, laboratory testing techniques, industrial aspects of fire analysis.

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Growth in chemical plastics recycling

Industry experts AMI expect fast growth in chemical plastics recycling to complement mechanical recycling. Plastics use and waste, especially in packaging, continues to grow, even in Europe. Mechanical recycling capacity is insufficient. Plastic use and waste per inhabitant increased nearly 25% in Europe 2009-2019, with some 30 million tonnes of plastic waste produced of which only 41% recycled by 2021.

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Mechanical recycling of PIN FR polymers

A TU Darmstadt thesis suggests that PIN FRs are not an obstacle to mechanical recycling of thermoplastics. Mineral, nitrogen and phosphorus based PIN flame retardants (ATH, sepiolite, aluminium diethylphosphinate, piperazine pyrophosphate, phosphate ester, APP, melamine cyanurate) were tested in various thermoplastics: polypropylene, polyethylene, polyester, polycarbonate/ABS blend, including with glass fibres and stabilisers.

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Phosphorus PIN FR improves PET recycling

Two phosphorus PIN FRs show to protect polymer properties in recycling (multiple re-extrusion cycles) of PET. Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), a polymer widely used for films and textiles, was tested pure and flame retarded with DOPO-PEPA (5%) or with a phosphate ester (3%).

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FRs and solvent chemical recycling

Different solvents were tested for chemical recycling of mixed E&E waste showing recovery of polymers and removal of FRs. Mixed, shredded E&E plastic waste was provided by a commercial waste recycler in the USA, after mill beating and metal separation.

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Halogenated FRs in China recycled plastics

Based on measurements in plastics samples, tonnages of halogenated FRs in recycled plastics in China were estimated. Total levels of twelve halogenated flame retardants (HFRs)* were measured in 23 samples of recycled plastics, manufactured in five Chinese provinces. Mean total HFR concentrations were approx. 4 – 60 µg/kg for different recycled polymers tested**.

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