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EPA Issues Restrictions on the Use of 5 Flame Retardants

These flame retardants, commonly found in plastics, electronics and adhesives, must be removed from non-medical products by March 8, 2022.

Beakers with different liquids

October 11, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued five final rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on Jan. 6, 2021, to reduce exposures to specific, persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals. 

For the first time, the EPA has restricted the use of five flame retardants, including:

  • 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP), 732-26-3  
  • Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE), 1163-19-5  
  • Pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP), 133-49-3   
  • Phenol, isopropylated, phosphate (PIP) 3:1 (PIP(3:1)), 68937-41-7  
  • Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), 87-68-3  

Timing on enforcement of the flame retardant ban

This ruling is driving the need for companies that manufacture or sell articles containing these chemicals, such as plastics, electronics and adhesives to eliminate these chemicals from their products, except for Food and Drug Administration-approved medical devices. The EPA is extending certain compliance dates to March 8, 2022, and issued a temporary 180-day No Action Assurance. It will not enforce the rules or take regulatory action during this time, but companies must prepare for future enforcement.

How UL can help you determine compliance

UL can help manufacturers and retailers determine how to comply with the EPA’s new TSCA requirements. Using a test-based approach, our experts can conduct X-ray fluorescence/Fourier transform infrared screening engineering evaluation and Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry testing on articles to determine if they contain any of the five flame retardants. The results will help you understand which products contain the banned chemicals so that you can reconfigure your products to comply with the new restrictions.

Companies have a limited window of time to prepare for future enforcement. Contact UL today for a complimentary consultation with one of our experts.


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