As a result of negotiations with EPA, several companies announced yesterday they will undertake a three-year phaseout of decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE), a persistent and toxic chemical that has been used as a flame retardant in consumer and other products.
Steve Owens, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, issued the following statement in response to the announcement:
“Though DecaBDE has been used as a flame retardant for years, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has long been concerned about its impact on human health and the environment. Studies have shown that decaBDE persists in the environment, potentially causes cancer and may impact brain function. DecaBDE also can degrade to more toxic chemicals that are frequently found in the environment and are hazardous to wildlife.
“Today’s announcement by these companies to phase out decaBDE is an appropriate and responsible step to protect human health and the environment.”