Issue Date: April 23, 2007
Washington bans deca-BDE flame retardant
Washington is poised to become the first state to ban, at least in some applications, all three major bromodiphenyl ether (BDE) flame retardants. Like a handful of other states, Washington is banning penta-BDE and octa-DBE, two chemicals being phased out by their manufacturer. In addition, legislation signed into law last week by Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) is the first in the nation to prohibit the sale of mattresses containing deca-DBE, effective Jan. 1, 2008. In contrast, a law that Maine legislators enacted in 2004 will ban deca-BDE by 2008 if a safer, nationally available alternative is available. Washington's new law will outlaw deca-BDE in upholstered furniture and in the plastic housings of televisions and computers as of Jan. 1, 2011, if a safer and technically feasible alternative flame retardant is available for these items by the end of 2008.
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