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The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans March 27 to begin full risk assessments on seven chemicals in 2013, including four flame retardants.

The agency’s 2013 Toxic Substances Control Act work plan identified plans to study 20 flame retardant chemicals, using information from the four full risk assessments to better understand other similar chemicals that lack sufficient data for a full risk assessment. The agency also plans to investigate some flame retardants to determine how they transform and move in the environment.

The four flame retardants that will undergo a full risk assessment are:

  • 2-ethylhexyl ester 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB);
  • 1,2- ethylhexyl 3,4,5,6-tetrabromo-benzenedicarboxylate, or (2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6 tetrabromophthalate (TBPH);
  • tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP); and
  • hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD).

EPA’s 2013 work plan also includes a full risk assessment for the widely used industrial chemical 1-bromopropane. The chemical is used as a solvent in some commercial applications, including dry cleaning, and to degrease electronics, precision optics, and metals.

EPA also announced plans to launch environmental fate investigations of eight flame retardants for which there is not adequate data available to conduct a full risk assessment.

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