FRs around electronics dismantling sites: a study in China comparing 175 people (46 controls) living a few hundred metres from e-waste dismantling areas in Qingyuan showed elevated urine concentrations of two out of eight flame retardants metabolites analysed in urine (BCEP, DPHP). Four of the eight metabolites showed correlation to levels of 8-OHdG, a marker for DNA oxidative stress, but this does not prove cause to effect.
The eight FR metabolites analysed were: bis(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (BCEP), 102 bis(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BCIPP), bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP), 103 bis(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (BBOEP), dibutyl phosphate (DBP), di-o-cresyl phosphate (DoCP), 104 di-p-cresyl phosphate (DpCP), and diphenyl phosphate (DPHP) ( “Effect of E-waste Recycling on Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Flame Retardants and Plasticizers and Their Association with Oxidative Stress”, Lu et al., Env. Sci & Technology 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b05462
NGOs petition US EPA on FRs: US Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged receipt of petitions under section 21 of TCSA from six environmental NGOs led by Earthjustice requesting hazard and exposure testing for tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and for three chlorinated phosphate esters TCEP, TDCPP and TCPP. In both cases the petitions suggest that further information is needed to determine these chemicals effects during the full life cycle.
Petition on chlorinated phosphate esters https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/support-document-chlorinated-phosphate-ester-cluster Petition on TBBPA https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/support-document-tetrabromobisphenol-tbbpa-section-21
EU Ecolabel criteria on floor coverings: the European Commission has published updated Flower Ecolabel criteria for wood, cork and bamboo based floor coverings. Whereas the previous 2009 criteria did not include any specific requirements regarding flame retardants (all chemicals subject to exclusion of certain R-Phrases), the new criteria include a blanket exclusion of all flame retardants “in the substances used in the manufacture” of EU Ecolabelled floor coverings. pinfa considers that this exclusion is not based on an assessment of whether flame retardants are needed in some floor coverings to ensure fire safety, nor of whether flame retardants are available to achieve this without health or environmental risks
European Commission 2017/176 “establishing EU Ecolabel criteria for wood-, cork- and bamboo-based floor coverings” 25 January 2017 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32017D0176
Swedish Chemicals Agency studies sex toys: KEMI (the Swedish Chemicals Agency) has assessed 44 sex toys from 16 companies, especially soft plastic and electrical devices. The only restricted substance identified was short chain chlorinated paraffins in one product, possibly being used as a softener not as a flame retardant. A phthalate on the EU SVHC list, requiring notification, was found in three products intended for use outside the body. KEMI suggests that “companies in other sectors can learn from the work of sex toy companies on chemical issues”. No analysis of levels of consumer exposure to these products is proposed.
“New test shows nearly all sex toys free of restricted chemicals”, KEMI 23 January 2017, 16 page report in Swedish with English summary, including websites for products tested http://www.kemi.se/en/news-from-the-swedish-chemicals-agency/2017/new-test-shows-nearly-all-sex-toys-free-of-restricted-chemicals/