Are PBDEs in My FR Clothing?
What are Polybrominated Flame Retardants (PBDEs)?
Almost any material can be treated with fire retardants to make it less combustible or harder to burn. However, the earliest flame retardants, PCBs, were banned in the 1970’s when it was discovered that they were toxic (1). In recent years, news reports have raised questions about the use of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, known as PBDEs, as flame retardants.
Flame retardants based on certain polybrominated compounds have been used to impart flame resistant properties to certain products in various applications for many years. In the past, PBDEs were used primarily in non-apparel applications, such as: back coatings for furniture, car upholstery, wall coverings, curtains and carpets.
Concerns about toxicity for individuals and the environment have produced regulatory and voluntary restrictions or bans on the use of PBDEs. Today, these compounds have been restricted or even banned altogether under specific regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives due to such concerns.
Generally, products once treated with PBDEs are now treated with the same type of chemistry that has been used safely in FR apparel applications for many years.
What FR Manufacturers Have to Say…
- Mount Vernon Mills does not use and has never used PBDEs in manufacturing Amtex™ FR fabrics.
- Westex does not use PBDEs in manufacturing Indura® or UltraSoft® fabrics, and these fabrics do not contain PBDEs.
- DuPont™ does not use PBDEs in the manufacture of NOMEX® or KEVLAR® brand fibers.
- Tyndale’s FRMC® fabrics are inherently flame resistant and PBDEs are not utilized in their manufacture (seen above).
Apparel products provided by Tyndale do not contain PBDEs and do not pose a hazard to consumers or the environment. Click here for more information on FRMC®, Tyndale’s exclusive brand of flame resistant modacryclic/cotton blended fabric.
References for this post were accessed September 2013: