On 5 May 2017, The California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)1announced its intent to list Pentabromodiphenyl Ether Mixture [DE-71 (Technical Grade)] (PentaBDE mixture) under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65)2. OEHHA is requesting for comments until 5 June.
The PentaBDE mixture has been used as an additive flame retardant, especially for polyester foam in furniture. OEHHA determined PBDE mixture meets the criteria for listing as known to the State to cause cancer under Proposition 65, relying on findings and conclusions from the 2016 report of National Toxicology Program (NTP). The report found that the chemical causes increased incidences of tumors in rats and concluded that the chemical causes cancer.
According to the OEHHA, the production and use of PentaBDE was voluntarily phased out in the United States around 2004. Many states have passed legislations regulated different toxic flame retardants such as brominated diphenyl ether (Penta-, deca- and octa-), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), Chlorinated Tris (e.g. TCEP, TDPP, TCPP) and Antimony. For children’s products contained or contaminated with toxic flame retardants, several states adopted rules requiring businesses to disclose and report the use of chemicals.