This year’s Chinaplas saw ICL-IP, a world leading producer of flame retardants and the largest producer of elemental bromine, reveal its new assessment tool for use across all flame retardants.
The science-based tool, known as SAFR, (Systematic Assessment for Flame Retardants), assesses the sustainability of individual flame retardants according to their application.
Ilan Elkan, ICL-IP’s VP of Sustainability and Advocacy, said: “We designed this tool as an important part of our ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability, but for SAFR to truly fulfil its intended use, it needs to be adopted by all parts of the value chain, where it will enable purchasing decisions to be made based on the sustainable use of a product in a specific application.
“Not only will our direct customers benefit, but those up the user chain will be able to measure not only the hazard, but the exposure of any given flame retardant,” adds Elkan.
“This will allow them to make the most sustainable choice of flame retardant against a given application.”
SAFR utilises the latest available scientific data to assess each FR product according to its application, with the intention that this will lead to the use of the most sustainable, effective products appropriate for a given use or application.
Building on existing, accepted hazard criteria, the approach assesses the extent to which potential hazards translate into potential risks due to possible exposure to humans and/or to the environment during the service life of the flame retardant.
The SAFR tool provides one of four possible outcomes for each product assessed: uses that are ‘recommended’, ‘acceptable’, or ‘not recommended’ and ‘unacceptable hazard’.
Flame retardants in applications which have a rating of ‘recommended’ through to ‘not recommended’ are all usable; however users of flame retardants which achieve a ‘not recommended’ rating will be provided the option of an alternative product with a ‘recommended’ or ‘acceptable’ rating.
With this approach, ICL-IP says FR users can make an informed purchase decision about the most sustainable, efficient product to fulfil their requirements.
ICL-IP products that have an ‘unacceptable’ hazard rating – including those that are still in the development phase - will be, and in many cases have already been phased out in coordination with the value chain.