Issue Date: November 19, 2012
Canada Moves To Ban Flame Retardant
Canada is proposing to ban the flame retardant tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) in items containing polyurethane foam that are intended for children under age three. In a Nov. 10 regulatory proposal, the agency Health Canada says that, on the basis of studies in laboratory animals, the chemical could potentially cause cancer and impaired fertility in people. The agency determined that Canadians are potentially exposed to TCEP from consumer products. Research by Health Canada and by academic scientists has found TCEP in baby products including toys, nursing pillows, and baby carriers. In related action, the agency Environment Canada released a draft assessment concluding that tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), the world’s most-produced flame retardant, is entering the environment at levels that may pose harm to aquatic organisms. The draft, which will inform future regulatory action, says TBBPA persists in the environment but does not harm human health. The draft also says levels in the environment of two related flame retardants, TBBPA bis(2-hydroxyethyl ether) and TBBPA bis(allyl ether), harm neither human health nor the environment.
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