Results from Screening Polyurethane Foam Based Consumer Products for Flame Retardant Chemicals: Assessing Impacts on the Change in the Furniture Flammability Standards.
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Flame retardant (FR) chemicals have often been added to polyurethane foam to meet required state and federal flammability standards. However, some FRs (e.g., PBDEs and TDCIPP) are associated with health hazards and are now restricted from use in some regions. In addition, California's residential furniture flammability standard (TB-117) has undergone significant amendments over the past few years, and TDCIPP has been added to California's Proposition 65 list. These events have likely led to shifts in the types of FRs used, and the products to which they are applied. To provide more information on the use of FRs in products containing polyurethane foam (PUF), we established a screening service for the general public. Participants residing in the US were allowed to submit up to 5 samples from their household for analysis, free of charge, and supplied information on the product category, labeling, and year and state of purchase. Between February 2014 and June 2016, we received 1141 PUF samples for analysis from various products including sofas, chairs, mattresses, car seats and pillows. Of these samples tested, 52% contained a FR at levels greater than 1% by weight. Tris(1,3-dichloroisopropyl)phosphate (TDCIPP) was the most common FR detected in PUF samples, and was the most common FR detected in all product categories. Analysis of the data by purchasing date suggests that the use of TDCIPP decreased in recent years, paralleled with an increase in the use of TCIPP and a nonhalogenated aryl phosphate mixture we call "TBPP." In addition, we observed significant decreases in FR applications in furniture products and child car seats, suggesting the use of additive FRs in PUF may be declining, perhaps as a reflection of recent changes to TB-117 and Proposition 65. More studies are needed to determine how these changes in FR use relate to changes in exposure among the general population.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1021/acs.est.6b01602
Publication InfoClark, Charlotte; Cooper, Ellen M; Davis, Katherine; Ferguson, Lee; Kroeger, Gretchen; & Stapleton, Heather M (2016). Results from Screening Polyurethane Foam Based Consumer Products for Flame Retardant Chemicals: Assessing Impacts on the Change in the Furniture Flammability Standards. Environmental science & technology, 50(19). 10.1021/acs.est.6b01602. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17099.
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Assistant Professor of the Practice of Sustainability in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Clark's primary interest is the intersection of collective learning and collective action. She studies how environmental education can contribute to management of common pool resources, and how informal learning processes engage with behavior change for individuals and communities around environmental issues. She applies these concepts in work around campus sustainability, and leads the Education Subcommittee of Duke's Campus Sustainability Committee. She uses and teaches qualitative research me
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Ferguson is an Environmental Analytical Chemist who joined Duke in 2009 after six years as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina. Research in the Ferguson laboratory is focused on development of novel methods for trace analysis of organic and nanoparticulate contaminants in the aquatic environment. Specifically, the laboratory uses high performance mass spectrometry techniques (e.g. UHPLC-Orbitrap MS/MS) to det
Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management
Dr. Stapleton's research focuses on understanding the fate and transformation of organic contaminants in aquatic systems and in indoor environments. Her main focus has been on the bioaccumulation and biotransformation of brominated flame retardants, and specifically polybrominated diphenyl ethers,(PBDEs). Her current research projects explore the routes of human exposure to flame retardant chemicals and examine the way these compounds are photodegraded and metabolized using mass spectrometry to
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