When brominated flame retardants came under attack from environmental activists many years ago, the chemical industry's response was defence was based on pure scientific knowledge. "With a lot of misconceptions and emotions arising that were difficult to address [through this approach], we weren't very successful," concedes Avi Ben Zvi, Manager of New Product Development at leading flame retardant supplier ICL Industrial Products (Beer-Sheva, Israel). ICL hopes its latest initiative to address safety issues with such flame retardants will have more success.
Called SAFR, for Systematic Assessment for Flame Retardants, the framework is a risk-based methodology to assess the extent to which the potential hazards of substances translate into potential risks due to possible exposure to humans and/or to the environment. SAFR was officially launched at the recent Chinaplas show in Guangzhou.