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Flame retardant designed to replace pentaBDE 

Plastics, Additives and Compounding v.6, i.1, 1jan04

To fill the gap left when pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE) is phased out of production, Albemarle Corporation has launched an alternative reactive flame retardant chemical for polyurethane foam.

SAYTEX® RX 8500 was developed to provide high-efficiency flame retardance together with thermal stability and anti-scorch properties for high and low density foams used in furniture, bedding, automotive components and packaging.

The sole US manufacturer of pentaBDE, which Saytex RX 8500 is designed to replace, will cease producing the chemical in the near future, according to Albemarle. Some media reports have suggested that exposure to pentaBDE can be harmful to humans and animals. "Albemarle recognized the growing public concern over the use of pentaBDE and focused its research on finding a more acceptable alternative," said Luc Van Muylem, Albemarle's global business director for flame retardants. "The result is a product that is reactive and locks the bromine into the foam matrix. We believe many current pentaBDE users will find Saytex RX 8500 flame retardant to be a perfect fit for their needs."

Mindfully.org note: To say that the bromine is "locked into the foam matrix" is only wishful thinking. Just how long will this period of its imprisonment be? If not for eternity, then what purpose is served? All the foam this new product will go into is nothing more than trash in a matter of a few years or at the maximum, a decade or two. The foam itself is toxic even without the flame retardant.   

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