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NAFRA Feedback on Draft Rule in Washington State – EIN Information


WASHINGTON (December 9, 2022) — The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA) issued the next assertion in response to proposed restrictions and reporting necessities from the Washington State Division of Ecology (Division of Ecology) with respect to the usage of organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) in casings and enclosures of digital and electrical gear. The proposal is a part of Safer Merchandise for Washington – Cycle 1.

“The Division of Ecology’s Safer Merchandise for Washington proposal goes far past every other product security regulation in place on the state, federal, or worldwide stage by proscribing the usage of OFRs in casings and enclosures of digital and electrical gear supposed for indoor use. The proposal additionally creates an onerous and ambiguous reporting requirement for producers of digital and electrical gear supposed for out of doors use that include OFRs within the casing or enclosure. In each instances, the flexibility to use OFR chemistries to all kinds of digital merchandise could possibly be jeopardized. NAFRA continues to boost considerations with the course and language of the Safer Merchandise for Washington proposal and the Division of Ecology’s regulatory method.

“Public well being dangers posed by fireplace stay a priority for Washington State. In 2021, there have been more than 5,000 house fires in the state, leading to greater than $200 million in property losses. In the span between 2008 and 2017, there have been 581 fire-related fatalities to Washington State residents, with the second main trigger reported as “electrical associated,” together with misuse {of electrical} gear, improperly put in wiring, overloaded circuits, or misuse {of electrical} extension cords.

“Flame retardants are used to cut back fireplace dangers and meet product security requirements. One of the vital necessary advantages of flame retardants in product design is that they may also help cease small ignition occasions from turning into bigger fires. This will cut back the danger of a fireplace spreading and will present extra time for individuals to flee and extra time for emergency personnel to reply.1

“NAFRA’s suggestions to enhance the regulatory program embrace the next:

  • Larger consideration needs to be supplied for product design necessities. Easy substitution shouldn’t be all the time attainable as OFRs stands out as the solely possibility in assembly efficiency necessities for some merchandise. Even when a redesign of the product is feasible, recertifying it’s a time-consuming course of that always takes years.
  • An improved options evaluation method is required, with the identical standards for evaluating each OFRs and recognized options. The present evaluation method restricts the usage of a number of OFRs regardless of them assembly the Division of Ecology’s threshold standards for security.
  • The regulatory scope is overly broad and needs to be narrowed. Washington State’s draft rule fails to tell apart between particular person OFR chemistries and even present a complete checklist of lined merchandise for both indoor or out of doors use. Digital and electrical gear is a product class with advanced provide chains, and extra readability is required.

“Any rules must also search to align with related federal and worldwide guidelines. In any other case, shoppers and producers face a complicated panorama of inconsistent and overlapping rules that will have an effect on the supply of digital and electrical merchandise. The regulatory proposal additionally ignores suggestions made by the Nationwide Academy of Sciences that warning in opposition to regulating OFRs as a single class on account of their huge and distinctive varieties.

“Washington State ought to extra absolutely think about the worth and variety of this class of chemistries utilized in digital and electrical merchandise. NAFRA will proceed its outreach to enhance the rulemaking for this new program to assist make sure that chemical compounds and the merchandise that they allow are secure and obtainable.”

Sources
  1. Blais, Matthew S., Karen Carpenter, and Kyle Fernandez. “Comparative Room Burn Examine of Furnished Rooms from the UK, France and america.” Fireplace Know-how (2019): 1-26.
American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the main firms engaged within the multibillion-dollar enterprise of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make progressive merchandise, applied sciences and companies that make individuals’s lives higher, more healthy and safer. ACC is dedicated to improved environmental, well being, security and safety efficiency by means of Accountable Care®; frequent sense advocacy addressing main public coverage points; and well being and environmental analysis and product testing. ACC members and chemistry firms are among the many largest buyers in analysis and improvement, and are advancing merchandise, processes and applied sciences to handle local weather change, improve air and water high quality, and progress towards a extra sustainable, round economic system.

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