Journal of hazardous materials

Brominated and organophosphate flame retardants in selected consumer products on the Japanese market in 2008.

PMID 21783321


The concentrations of traditional brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) in new consumer products, including electronic equipment, curtains, wallpaper, and building materials, on the Japanese market in 2008 were investigated. Although some components of the electronic equipment contained bromine at concentrations on the order of percent by weight, as indicated by X-ray fluorescence analysis, the bromine content could not be fully accounted for by the BFRs analyzed in this study, which included polybrominated diphenylethers, decabromodiphenyl ethane, tetrabromobisphenol A, polybromophenols, and hexabromocyclododecanes. These results suggest the use of alternative BFRs such as newly developed formulations derived from tribromophenol, tetrabromobisphenol A, or both. Among the 11 OPFRs analyzed, triphenylphosphate was present at the highest concentrations in all the products investigated, which suggests the use of condensed-type OPFRs as alternative flame retardants, because they contain triphenylphosphate as an impurity. Tripropylphosphate was not detected in any samples; and trimethylphosphate, tributyl tris(2-butoxyethyl)phosphate, and tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate were detected in only some components and at low concentrations. Note that all the consumer products evaluated in this study also contained traditional BFRs in amounts that were inadequate to impart flame retardancy, which implies the incorporation of recycled plastic materials containing BFRs that are of global concern.