ez0c00483_si_001.pdf (810.15 kB)
Download file

Flame Retardant Concentrations Are Lower in College Spaces Meeting the New Furniture Flammability Standard TB117-2013

Download (810.15 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 31.08.2020, 13:07 by Kathryn M. Rodgers, Adrian Covaci, Giulia Poma, Kristin Knox, Joseph G. Allen, Jose Cedeno-Laurent, Ruthann A. Rudel, Robin E. Dodson
California’s updated furniture flammability standard, TB117-2013, can be met without the use of chemical flame retardants (FRs). FRs have been associated with neurological damage, reproductive toxicity, thyroid disease, and cancer. We collected dust from classrooms and other nonresidential spaces on four U.S. college campuses that met one of California’s two older FR-reliant standards (TB117, TB133) or the newer TB117-2013. We hypothesized that spaces with TB117-2013-compliant furniture would have lower levels of FRs in dust. We detected all 43 targeted FRs, and FRs were detected in each of the 86 samples. We prioritized 14 FRs for statistical analysis based on their prevalence in dust and use in furniture and textiles. Concentrations of three polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), and tris­(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) were significantly lower in TB117-2013 spaces compared to spaces adhering to FR-reliant standards. Concentrations of BDE 209, decabromodiphenylethane (DBDPE), bis­(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromophthalate (BEH-TEBP), hexabromobenzene (HBB), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) were significantly lower in spaces meeting TB117-2013 compared to TB133 spaces. We report the highest dust levels of BDE 209, 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EH-TBB), DBDPE, and TCEP in the U.S. Spaces adhering to the revised standard, TB117-2013, had lower dust concentrations of harmful FRs, suggesting less FR was used in the furnishings.