The impact of flame retardants in the environment was a primary focus at the annual conferences of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) held November 11 to 15, 2012 in Long Beach, California.
Research results presented at the conference indicate that flame retardant chemicals found in sources such as household products and electronic waste recycling continues to raise health and environmental concerns.
Many of the substances are found to be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. They are being found in an increasing number of locations in developed and developing countries, research suggests.
In 2010, the Canadian government released a federal strategy that outlines a comprehensive ban of toxic polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a common flame retardant used in consumer products.
The feds have already banned two classes of PBDEs, but critics say more action is needed. Environment Canada has announced it plans to ban a third class of PBDE by 2012, but legislation hasn’t been introduced.