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Community, Medical, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Are toxic brominated flame retardants present in European food contact materials?

This is the title of an article on SpecialChem’s website.  The answer is — sometimes.

The scientist in me wants to point out that many brominated flame retardants are NOT toxic, and nobody should be using the ones that are (mainly “decabrome”), any more.

What is happening is that old electronics parts are getting into the recycle stream, illegally.  Because the stuff is brown, it only goes into black plastic articles.  Hence, black utensils and plates for food contact.

One more example where, whatever the science, society has to understand the issues and enforce the laws or somebody is going to mess up and get somebody hurt.  And remember – “never attribute to malice what can as easily be attributed to stupidity” – this is probably not deliberate, just sloppy.

Another science note – even decabrome is not really “toxic” — it is a hormone disruptor.  It’s blamed for girls hitting puberty years too soon.  Another bad title choice by “science” writers.

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