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Workshop on New Brominated Flame Retardants

NORMAN Workshop and Expert Group meeting on New Brominated Flame Retardants as Emerging Contaminants in the Environment: sources, occurrence, pathways and measurement methods
23-25 November 2011, Stockholm (SE)

New brominated flame retardants was the theme of a NORMAN workshop organised by IVL (the Swedish Environmental Research Institute) in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Stockholm University and Umeå University. The workshop was held on the 23–24 of November in Stockholm, Sweden and more than 50 scientists, stakeholders and industry representatives took part.

The background to the workshop was that flame retardants such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are being phased out, and that an increasing number of alternative flame retardant chemicals have been introduced to comply with consumer product fire safety standards. Recent studies have identified a widespread occurrence of different emerging flame retardants in the environment.

The following topics were addressed:

  • Occurrence and distribution of emerging flame retardants (FR) in the environment. Where do we find them and in what concentrations?
  • Emissions sources and important pathways of FR
  • Use, fate and transformation products
  • Potential ecotoxicology and human effects
  • Which effects are of concern? What do we know already and what do we need to know for reliable risk assessment?
  • Measurement methods
  • The need for development and harmonisation of methods will be addressed. Do we need to include new FRs in monitoring programmes?

The presentations at the workshop (see below) showed a widespread occurrence of alternative flame retardants in different parts of the environment. The need for a better understanding of emissions, important pathways and how these new chemicals will affect our environment and our health was identified. The main messages and conclusions are summarised in a Workshop Report.

The workshop was followed by a meeting with leading European environmental experts. The main objective of this expert meeting was to discuss and evaluate the future requirements with regard to new emerging flame retardants. The outcome from the expert meeting will be a position paper.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Wednesday, 23 November 2011 to Friday, 25 November 2011