UpdateUS chem council questions plan to restrict flame retardants

18 August 2010 23:46  [Source: ACN]

(Adds updates throughout)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) on Wednesday questioned whether plans by US environmental regulators to restrict the use of a flame retardant was grounded in a thorough scientific review.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to restrict and potentially ban production of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and other chemicals. HBCD, along with nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), would be added to the new EPA list of “Chemicals of Concern”, which would subject the chemicals to closer and priority federal scrutiny.

HBCD is a flame retardant used in certain types of insulation, textiles, coatings and electronics.

“HBCD has been shown to be persistent and bio-accumulative in the environment and may pose potential reproductive, developmental and neurological effects in people,” the agency said.

ACC vice president of regulatory and technical affairs Mike Walls said the chemical industry supports modernising the way chemicals are managed, but “at the same time, we remain concerned that the EPA chemical action plan process does not include a transparent science-based approach to chemical assessment and chemical management”.

He added: “Industry supports the safe production and use of HBCD and will work with the agency as it implements its action plan. But because it is not clear if the action plan process is grounded in a thorough scientific review – including the review of possible alternatives – we are concerned about how the review has been conducted.”

Additional reporting by Joe Kamalick

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