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Dow Chemical says flame-retardant makers have made progress in rolling out a line of polymeric flame retardants it invented to replace hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in polystyrene foam insulation. HBCD faces bans around the world because of suspected environmental harm (C&EN, Oct. 29, 2012, page 39). Dow, a large manufacturer of polystyrene foam insulation, developed the brominated styrene-butadiene block copolymer flame retardant and licensed it to Albemarle, Chemtura, and Israel Chemical. Dow says these firms already have 10,000 metric tons per year of capacity up and running and will have 20,000 metric tons available next year.
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