Modelling environmental fate of possible new flame retardants: 94 chemicals considered to be possible substitutes to PBDE (mostly other brominated FRs plus 20 non-halogenated phosphorus esters and melamine) were modelled for estimated potential persistence and LRT (long range transport). The authors note that physical and chemical properties vary widely depending on small changes in the molecules and functional groups. For around half of the 94 chemicals the model suggests potential persistence or LRT. This shows the need to assess these risks adequately substance by substance.
“Novel flame retardants: Estimating the physical-chemical properties and environmental fate of 94 halogenated and organophosphate PBDE replacements”, X. Zhang et al., Chemosphere 144 (2016), 2401-2407
Health and ecological risks of P-FRs: nine phosphorus flame retardants (five non-halogenated arly phosphates TNBP, TMPP, TPHP, TEHP, TBOEP and four halogenated TCEP, TDCIPP, TCIPP, TDBPP) were tested in vitro for possible thyroid effects and in vivo for effects on frog embryos. Only TNBP, TMPP, TCIPP and TDCIPP showed effects. Although the mode of action is unclear, the authors note that predictions using LigandFit molecular modelling were close to test results.
“Thyroid hormone-disrupting activity and ecological risk assessment of phosphorus-containing flame retardants by in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches”, Q. Zhang et al., Environmental Pollution 210 (2016) 27e33
QSAR chemical database updated: Denmark has updated the QSAR (Quantitive Structure – Activity Relationship) database. The database covers over 600 000 chemicals and gives model predictions of physico-chemical, health and environmental properties, by comparing chemicals with others of similar structure for which experimental data is available.
QSAR database, Technical University of Denmark’s National Food Institute, with Danish Environmental Protection Agency and Ministry of Environment and Food, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and Nordic Council of Ministers http://qsar.food.dtu.dk/
UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and Emory University are launching a study into both fire protection effectiveness and exposure to flame retardants from furniture and electronic products. Objectives are to identify routes to reduce exposure to chemicals of concern by management of sources, changing manufacturing processes or using safer alternatives, while also maintaining adequate flammability protection.
“UL Partners with Emory University to Conduct Research on Furniture Flammability and Human Exposure to Flame Retardants” 17/11/2015
Hoverboard fire risk concerns: Amazon.UK, has withdrawn from sale and told customers to throw away and will reimburse certain hands-free, self-balancing scooters (hoverboards). The three largest US airlines, BA and others have banned their transport. USPS and the US Postal Service have indicated that they will ship only overland. This follows reports that certain models are catching fire. The US CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) has received reports of 12 hoverboards catching fire.
“Amazon UK tells customers to get rid of hoverboards”, “Statement from the U.S. CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye on the Safety of Hoverboards”