This NIST review analyses current knowledge on life cycle and environmental assessments of plastics, based on over 150 publications. It is noted that “FRs are usually ignored in plastics LCA studies”. Only six publications relevant to FRs are cited: Broeren 2016, Samani 2020, Deng 2016 (these are summarised in pinfa Newsletter n°118), Jonkers ENFIRO 2016 (pinfa Newsletter 58) and Andersson and Simonson fire-LCA studies (2002, 2004). One study (Broeren) suggests that FRs can contribute up to 40% of plastics GHG emissions, but this is based on bio-based plastics. One study (Jonkers) concludes that brominated FRs have worse environmental impacts, caused mainly at product end-of-life. The two fire-LCA studies conclude that, because of environmental and greenhouse impacts of “avoided” fires, FR containing (plastic) products have an overall preferable LCA.
“Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Plastics: A Review”, P. Rikhter et al., 2022 NIST GCR 22-032 https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/gcr/2022/NIST.GCR.22-032.pdf