Steve Hollins, ECHA (European Chemical Agency), suggested that industry should be proactive in substituting chemicals which are flagged as possibly problematic on any of the different ECHA ‘early warning’ lists, such as PACT (public activities coordination tool), CoRAP, or have been assessed in an RMOA (risk management option analysis). Any chemical on such lists is likely to face restriction in time, or be progressively phased out by users. Substitution should be a business opportunity, including by reconsidering whether the function can be achieved by routes other than using different chemicals. “Regrettable substitution”, that is replacing by another chemical which also has potential issues, is an unsustainable way forward for industry. As well as addressing chemicals in products, restrictions under REACH canalso directly address emissions, for example a restriction report for formaldehyde proposing limit values for indoor air.
Lara Greiner, Fraunhofer LBF, Darmstadt, explained the possible risk of release of carbon fibre fragments in case of fires involving composite materials, citing the 24th June German Typhoon Eurofighter crash https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/bundeswehr-flugzeugabsturz-mecklenburg-vorpommern-giftgas-1.4503638 She presented research into PIN FR solutions to address this concern: one-pot synthesis of polymeric acrylamide-DOPO and acrylamide-DDPO. These were tested in epoxy resin RTM6, showing (especially with acrylamide-DDPO) significant delay of production of respirable carbon fibre fragments (low fibre diameter). The delay beyond 25 minutes would be sufficient to protect beyond the time of the jet fuel fire. Analysis suggested that this protection of the carbon fibres was by char production. Combination with a-DOPO ensured effective fire retardancy (by both char formation and gas phase action).
Clémence Rawas, FCBA France (Institute of Technology for Forest-Based and Furniture Sectors), summarised the EMIFLAMME project (national government agency funding: ADEME, ANSES). The project has identified material – flame retardant systems widely used in today’s furniture, will develop tests to assess emissions and migration of FRs, will measure emissions into indoor rooms and will model exposure via saliva and sweat (digestion, dermal). Most currently available test data concerns TCP/melamine foam, FR polyester and PVC/polyurethane coverings.