Elevated Concentrations of Halogenated Flame Retardants in Waste Childcare Articles from Ireland
22 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2022
Concentrations of legacy and alternative halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) including chlorinated organophosphate esters (Cl-OPEs), were measured in waste childcare articles (n=274 for Cl-OPEs, n=187 for other HFRs) from the Republic of Ireland between 2019 and 2020. Articles studied comprised foams and fabrics from: child car seats, cot mattresses, changing mats, pushchairs, prams, and related items. Fifteen articles (7.7%) exceeded the European Union limit value of 1,000 mg/kg for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (all due to BDE-209), an additional 15 exceeded the limit for hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), with 6 articles exceeding the limit for both PBDEs and HBCDD. An even greater proportion of articles contained concentrations exceeding 1,000 mg/kg for: tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCIPP) (n=75, 27%) and tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) (n=58, 21%), with concentrations greater than 1,000 mg/kg also observed for: tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) (n=14, 5.0% articles), 2-ethylhexyl tetrabromobenzoate (EH-TBB) (n=7, 3.7%), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), and bis(2-ethylhexyl)tetrabromophthalate (BEH-TEBP) (both n=5, 2.7%). Overall, 115 samples contained at least one HFR at a concentration exceeding 1,000 mg/kg. In addition to the waste management implications of our findings, our data raise concerns about child exposure to HFRs during the use phase of these everyday items.
Keywords: Brominated flame retardants, Chlorinated organophosphate esters, Child car seats, Cot mattresses, Waste management
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