PFRs do not accumulate in lipids: Concentrations of 3 chlorinated (TCEP, TDCPP, TCIPP) and 3 PIN phosphorus FRs (TBOEP, TPHP, EHDPHP) were analysed in flesh from 170 Yellow eels caught in freshwater in Flanders, Belgium. PFR levels varied with industrialisation of river catchment, with median total PFR levels of 8 parts per billion (44 ng/g w/w), lower than levels of PBDEs or HBCD. In contrast to these brominated FRs, PFR levels were not related to eel flesh lipid content, suggesting that PFRs do not bioaccumulate in lipids. Human exposure from eel consumption is not considered significant.
“Organophosphorus flame retardants in the European eel in Flanders, Belgium: Occurrence, fate and human health risk”, G. Malarvannan et al. Environmental Research 140 (2015) 604–610 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2015.05.021
Biomonitoring of FRs in hair: 2 chlorinated and 7 PIN phosphorus flame retardants were analysed in hair from 48 mothers and 54 children, and compared to levels in urine and in air and dust in the family’s home. Levels in hair ranged from <0.001 to 4 µg/g. For some of the FRs, hair concentrations were correlated to levels in dust, for others they were correlated to levels in air. The authors conclude that hair could provide a useful bio-indicator of phosphorus FR exposure, but that the small sample in this study does not allow full conclusions.
“Assessment of human hair as an indicator of exposure to organophosphate flame retardants. Case study on a Norwegian mother–child cohort”, A. Kucharska, Environment International 83 (2015) 50–57 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2015.05.015
PFRs in sewage: 24-hour inflow samples from 11 Australia sewage works were compared to census population data. 13 phosphorus flame retardants (PFRs) were analysed. Total PFR in raw sewage was calculated to be c. 2 mg PFR / person / day.
“Wastewater analysis of Census day samples to investigate per capita input of organophosphorus flame retardants and plasticizers into wastewater”, J. O’Brien et al., Chemopshere 138, pp. 328-334, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.06.014
CertiPUR-US: the voluntary certification program for foam used in bedding and furniture, CertiPUR-US, has announced an extension of its list of excluded flame retardants. The program fixes standards for chemicals used, emissions and durability for polyurethane foams. CertiPUR US underlines that the program does not mean that foams do not contain flame retardants, but that they are screened.
Furniture World, 26/5/2015: “CertiPUR-US Adds 3 Flame Retardant Additives To Prohibited Substances List” http://www.furninfo.com/Furniture%20Industry%20News/4791
CertiPUR-US: “A Health Check-Up for Foam” http://certipur.us/for-consumers/
Trade Unions call for tighter smoke toxicity regulations: the alliance of fire fighters’ trade unions from 12 European countries (EFFUA www.effua.org ) has called on the European Union “to introduce tough new smoke toxicity regulations for construction materials, funding for further studies into the issue of fire fighters and work-related cancer and extra resources to improve health training for fire fighters”. PIN flame retardants can reduce smoke, by preventing fire ignition and slowing development, and also reduce smoke corrosivity.
European Firefighter Unions Alliance (EFFUA) Press Release 4/3/2015 http://www.effua.org/news/80-effua-press-release-4-march-2015
IFSECFIRE “EU Urged to Take Action Over High Cancer Rates Among Firefighters” http://www.ifsecglobal.com/eu-urged-to-take-action-over-high-cancer-rates-among-firefighters/