Chlorinated Organophosphate Esters in Irish Waste Foams and Fabrics: Concentrations, Preliminary Assessment of Temporal Trends and Evaluation of the Impact of a Concentration Limit Value
22 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2022
Concentrations of the chlorinated organophosphate esters (Cl-OPEs): tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCIPP), and tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) were measured in 273 waste synthetic foam and fabric articles collected in Ireland between 2019 and 2020. Articles examined comprised: polystyrene building insulation foam, as well as foam fillings and fabric coverings from furniture, mattresses, end of life vehicles, curtains, and carpets. Cl-OPEs were also measured in 156 samples from the same categories (except for building insulation foam) collected in 2015-16. Concentrations of TCIPP and TDCIPP in most samples exceeded those of TCEP; with those of TCIPP and TDCIPP generally and for some waste categories significantly (p<0.05) higher in samples collected in 2019-20. Given potential future restrictions on use of these Cl-OPEs, we identified articles containing concentrations that exceeded 1,000 mg/kg, as such a limit exists for some brominated flame retardants within the European Union. In 2019-20, 82 articles contained at least one Cl-OPE above 1,000 mg/kg, with at least one article exceeding this concentration in each waste category examined. By comparison, only 28 samples collected in 2015-16, contained at least one Cl-OPE >1,000 mg/kg, and articles exceeding this concentration were restricted to furniture and mattress foam, along with foams and fabrics from end-of-life vehicles. In the event of the introduction of such a limit on Cl-OPE concentrations in waste, it will result in 7,200 t/year of such waste (24% of the total) being rendered unrecyclable, while removing 98% of the estimated ~147,000 kg/year of Cl-OPEs from the recycling stream.
Keywords: Plastics, TCIPP, TDCIPP, TCEP, Waste
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation