Posted on 14/05/2018 in Furniture & Textiles News 32 2018
EU LIFE-FLAREX: substituting halogenated textile FRs

The EU-funded LIFE-FLAREX project aims to replace halogenated flame retardants in home textiles, applying the substitution principle to REACH SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) and PBT (Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic) chemicals, with the objective of reducing halogenated FR use in this sector by 20% by 2023. An initial report notes that halogenated FRs identifies already as promising alternatives the following PIN FRs: ammonium polyphosphate (APP), poly[phosphonate-co-carbonate], magnesium hydroxide, aluminium hydroxide and aluminium diethylphosphinate (Alpi). The report indicates that there may also be other good alternatives, but that there are data gaps and lack of data for their assessment.

A first workshop with 32 stakeholders confirmed the constructive reception of the project by stakeholders and relevant industries and the selection of study fabrics (polyester, cotton and blends of these). Speakers, including from FLARETEX, ECHA and EURATEC (European Apparel and Textile Industries) underlined the need for flame retardants in home textile products to ensure fire safety and the possibilities for innovation and progress offered in substituting harmful chemicals. Discussion noted the importance of coherent and EU harmonized fire safety regulations, and the potential of public procurement, if concerted across Europe, to develop a market for alternative FRs and competitiveness of SMEs providing innovative solutions. However, for many applications where flame retardants with an improved environmental and health profile are available on the market, legacy commodity FRs often continue to be used because of cost advantage. Flarex next steps will include testing, demonstrating and benchmarking (comparison to conventional solutions) of PIN FRs, including technical performance, environmental impact, exposure and toxicological assessments. FLAREX workshop 16th January 2018 summary and press release Report (Deliverable A1) on “fabrics and flame retardant selection” 11 January 2018


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