News Brief

Washington Bans PBDEs

A bill passed by the Washington State Legislature places a limited ban on the use and sale of all polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. The legislation includes a widespread ban, effective January 1, 2008, on the octa and penta forms of PBDE, which were voluntarily discontinued by the sole manufacturer, Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, in 2005 (see

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Vol. 14, No. 2). The bill also includes a more limited ban on the deca form of PBDE, prohibiting its use in mattresses, residential upholstered furniture, and televisions and computers; another deca ban, passed in Europe in 2006, is limited to electronics. The deca ban, however, is subject to the findings of the Department of Health and a fire-safety committee, both of which will search for an alternative flame retardant that meets fire-safety standards. If an alternative is found by December 2008, the ban will go into effect in 2011; if not, the flame retardant will be allowed in the state until an alternative is discovered. For more on flame retardants, including PBDEs, see

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Vol. 13, No. 6.

Published May 1, 2007

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