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Flame Retardants to be Focus of EPA Chemicals Risk Assessment

Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Environmental Protection Agency announced March 27 that it will begin assessments of 23 commonly used chemicals, including 20 flame retardant chemicals, to more fully understand any potential risks to public health and the environment. The EPA notes that flame retardants are widely used in products such as household furniture, textiles and electronic equipment and that some flame retardant chemicals can persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in people and animals, and have been shown to cause neurological developmental effects in animals.

In developing draft risk assessments the EPA will use information that is available through a wide range of publicly available data sources. The agency also encourages the submission by May 30 of additional relevant information on these chemicals, such as unpublished studies and information on uses and potential exposures.

The draft assessments will be issued for public review and comment as they are completed. At the conclusion of the review process, if an assessment of specific uses indicates significant risk, the EPA will evaluate and pursue appropriate risk reduction actions, as warranted. If an assessment indicates no significant risk, the EPA will conclude its current work on assessment of those specified targeted uses of that chemical.

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