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Phosphate ester risk study at key stage

By Patrick Raleigh, UT On-line news editorDublin-First drafts of the human health risk assessments of three chlorinated phosphate ester flame retardants-TDCP, TCPP and V6-are “almost complete,” according to a statement from the Irish Health & Safety Authority. The drafts will be made available to the industry consortia over the summer before being reviewed by all EU Member States in September, said the Irish agency, which is carrying out the study on behalf of the European Commission. The Environmental Agency in the UK is, meanwhile completing environmental assessments of the three chemicals, as part of the same review under Council Regulation 793/93/EC.It is likely to be next year before industry learns of any possible restrictions to be placed on the use of any of these additives. TDCP, TCPP and V6 (see below*) are among the most widely used flame retardants in the flexible foam industry.Among those studying the draft reports will be the Phosphate Ester Flame Retardants Consortium- the group set up by Akzo Nobel Phosphorus Chemicals, Bayer AG, Great Lakes Chemicals Corp. and Rhodia Consumer Specialities Division, to present the industry case on this issue. The flame retardant makers are also linked into the European Flame Retardants Association, a sector group of Cefic-the European Chemical Industry Council.*Foam flame retardantsTCPP-Tris(2-chloro-1-methylethyl) phosphate. Around 90 percent of TCPP goes into rigid foam applications with the remaining 10 percent used in flexible foams for furniture and upholstery. Industry estimates put global demand for TCPP at around 50 kilotonnes per annum. TDCP-Tris[2-chloro-1-(chloromethyl)ethyl] phosphate. Global demand is estimated at over 10 ktpa mainly in flexible foam applications.V6-2,2-bis(chloromethyl)trimethylene bis(bis(2-chloroethyl)phosphate) is principally used in flexible polyurethane foam applications.”

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