US NGOs Publish Surveillance Report on Flame Retardants Content in TVs
Organohalogen flame retardants are persistent chemicals mostly linked to a variety of health concerns including thyroid disruption, learning deficits, cancer and have got more and more attention in the world. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed rules to end the production, import, processing and distribution of deca-BDE under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Washington state has also passed a legislation to identify and restrict the use of flame retardants in consumer products. In 2017, the Consumer Safety Protection Commission (CPSC) recommended the manufacturers and retailers of electronic products refrain from using halogenated flame retardants.
Recently, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the United States held an investigation on the content of flame retardants in TV products sold by famous electronics retailers A and B. According to the survey, outdated harmful halogen flame retardants are still used in TVs, and can migrate into the indoor air, posing risks to human health. In view of the health problems caused by these harmful substances, NGOs call on the retailers to stop purchasing and selling these non-compliant products.
According to the survey report released by the NGOs in October 2019, a total of six leading brands of TV products were surveyed. It found that there are different degrees of brominated flame retardants in the casings, including 2,4,6-tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP), deca-bromodiphenyl ether (Deca-BDE), deca-bromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) and 2,4,6-tris(2,4,6-tribromphenoxy)-1,3,5-triazine (TTBP-TAZ). All three TVs sold by retailer B contained Deca-BDE, and one of these shows the concentration level is above Washington’s enforcement limit. The results are as follows.
|Model||TTBP-TAZ (%)||2,4,6-TBP (%)||DBDPE (%)||DECA-BDE (%)|
|LED TV 24” 720P||7.4||0.15||0.95||0.06|
|LED TV 43” 4K Ultra HD||9.6||0.45||0.69||0.01|
|LED TV 50” 4K Ultra HD||12||0.28||0.56||0.13|
|43” 4K Ultra HD||3.7||0.12||0.93||ND|
|50” 4K Ultra HD||3.9
|55” 4K Ultra HD||3.5||0.14||1.0|
In October 2019, the European Commission has adopted a draft regulation on eco-design for electronic displays pursuant to the energy-related products (ErP) directive, which prohibits the use of halogenated flame retardants in the enclosure and stand of electronic displays. The draft is proposed to come into effective in 2021. NGOs suggested that the United States should follow the European Union's ban on the use of halogenated flame retardants as soon as possible.
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