Chemtura Announce Plans to Phase Out Bromine Base Fire Retardant decaBDE24 Dec 2009 • by Natalie Aster
Chemtura Corporation today announced that by the end of 2012 it will phase out production, importation and sale for most uses of the flame retardant decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), which it sells under the DE-83R(TM) brand name. Phase-out of sales for remaining uses will be completed by the end of 2013.
"While the scientific evidence indicates that decaBDE does not pose any significant risk to the environment or human health, this action allows us to continue our longstanding efforts to protect people and property from the hazards of fire in a sustainable way," said Chemtura Chairman, President and CEO Craig Rogerson. "We welcome the chance to help transition our customers to other alternatives, including new products we are piloting and plan to introduce in 2010. This is a key step in our longstanding 'Greener is Better' program."
Chemtura will work closely with its customers over the phase-out period to evaluate and qualify alternatives selected from current or new product offerings. This phase-out schedule will enable customers and others down the supply chain to transition to these alternative flame retardants without major marketplace disruption or impact on fire safety.
The phase-out will focus initially on consumer segments such as electronics and home furnishings, followed by transportation and industrial uses. Exceptions may be made for certain transportation and military uses, which may require extended time to qualify suitable substitutes. Those uses may have up to 12 additional months to transition to alternate flame retardants.
Chemtura announced the phase-out as part of its support of the DecaBDE Phase-Out Initiative, announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This initiative will promote phase-out of all production, importation and sales of decaBDE in the United States.
Chemtura plans to commit to gradual year-over-year reductions in production and sales volume. It will establish annual targets for those reductions with the EPA and will report production, import, export, and sales volumes, as well as year-end inventories, to the EPA to demonstrate progress during the phase-out.
"We have great respect for firefighters and the dangerous job they undertake every day, so we are especially pleased to have reached a solution that considered their concerns on this issue," Rogerson said. "We look forward to continued cooperation with the International Association of Fire Fighters and other fire safety organizations to work toward a common goal of reducing the impact of fires on people and the environment in a sustainable manner."
Chemtura's product line includes a broad range of bromine-, phosphorous-, and antimony-based flame retardants, which are used to reduce fire hazards from materials used in automobiles, home furnishings, insulating materials, consumer electronics, and electrical equipment, among other applications. In addition, Chemtura is developing innovative new alternatives that will further support its drive for sustainable fire protection products.
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