EPA Releases TSCA Assessment Documents for Flame Retardant Chemicals


Source: EPA
Related Topics: Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) US Environmental Protection Agency

As part of the Agency’s ongoing efforts to more fully understand the potential risks associated with flame retardant chemicals, EPA has reviewed four structurally similar flame retardant chemical clusters. Americans are often exposed to flame retardant chemicals in their daily lives. The chemicals are widely used in products such as household furniture, textiles, and electronic equipment. Many flame retardant chemicals can persist in the environment, and studies have shown that some may be hazardous to people and animals.

EPA is announcing the availability and opening of a 60-day public comment period for three Problem Formulations and Initial Assessments, and a 120-day comment period for a Data Needs Assessment document for one of the clusters. These assessments were conducted under the Toxic Substances Control Plan (TSCA) Work Plan assessment effort. 

Problem Formulations and Initial Assessments: The goal of these assessments is to identify scenarios where further risk analysis may be necessary. The documents address the likely exposure and hazard scenarios to workers and consumers based on current production, use, and exposure information for the following flame retardant chemical clusters.

  • Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), also known as Brominated Bisphenol A, cluster -- used as flame retardants in plastics/printed circuit boards for electronics. 
  • Chlorinated Phosphate Esters -- used as flame retardants in furniture foams and textiles. 
  • Cyclic Aliphatic Bromides/Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) cluster – used as a flame retardant in extruded and expanded polystyrene foams (EPS/XPS), polystyrene (PS) products. 

Data Needs Assessment: This document addresses the Brominated Phthalates (TBB and TBPH) cluster of flame retardants that are used in polyurethane foam products. EPA reviewed previous assessments and identified critical gaps in toxicity, exposure, and commercial mixtures data. The data needs assessment is intended to guide the collection of additional data and information.

Please visit for a pre-publication copy of the Federal Register Notice, a list of the flame retardant chemical clusters, a fact sheet with key questions and answers, and additional information on the TSCA Work Plan effort. The due date for submitting comments will be included in the published version of the Federal Register Notice, expected in the next week or so. 

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