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Safer Choice

Partnership to Evaluate Flame Retardant Alternatives to DecaBDE

About the Project | Milestones and Publications | Partnership Participants

decaBDE alternatives assessment logo

About the Flame Retardant Alternatives to DecaBDE Partnership

This assessment evaluates potential hazards associated with 29 flame retardants that are likely to be functional alternatives to decaBDE. Note that a chemical listed in the report as an alternative does not constitute EPA's endorsement of it. All of the alternatives are associated with some trade-offs; this report does not identify any functional chemicals with low concern for all human health and environmental hazard endpoints.


On January 29, 2014, through its Design for the Environment (DfE) program, EPA released a final alternatives assessment for the flame retardant, decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE).

A draft of this assessment was open for public review and comment during the period from July 30, 2012 to September 30, 2012.

Why did DfE conduct an alternatives assessment?

Under its Existing Chemical Management Program, EPA issued an action plan for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), calling for DfE to convene a multi-stakeholder alternatives assessment for decaBDE to help decisionmakers choose safer alternatives to decaBDE. Participation of all interest groups was aimed at ensuring that the full range of views was considered from the start of the project and that they were incorporated appropriately into the project objective and methodology. Read more about DfE's Alternatives Assessments.

Background on Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DecaBDE)

EPA is concerned that certain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment. This concern extends to decaBDE, which breaks down into other PBDE congeners. Various PBDEs have been studied for ecotoxicity in mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates. In some cases, current levels of PBDE exposure for wildlife may be at or near adverse effect levels. Human exposure to decaBDE can occur through occupations that manufacture flame retardants or products that contain flame retardants, as well as in recycling operations. Consumer exposure to decaBDE is possible because decaBDE can be released from products in the home and become a component in household dust.

In December 2009, the largest commercial producers and suppliers of decaBDE in the United States agreed to phase out use of the chemical by the end of 2013.

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decaBDE alternatives assessment logo


All publications from this partnership are available online.

Milestones Completion Date
Partnership kickoff meeting October 18, 2010
Finalize project scope December 22, 2010
Finalize the identification of alternative flame retardants and inherently fire-safe alternative technologies January 2011
Completed draft report, "An Alternatives Assessment for the Flame Retardant Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DecaBDE)" for public review and comment July 30, 2012
Posted final report, "An Alternatives Assessment for the Flame Retardant Decabromodiphenyl Ether (DecaBDE)" January 29, 2014
decaBDE alternatives assessment logo

Partnership Participants


  • Alissa Cordner, Brown University
  • Julie Herbstman, Columbia University
  • Heather Stapleton, Duke University
  • Joseph G. Allen, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Carol Handwerker, Purdue University
  • Inez Hua, Purdue University
  • Jeffery W. Youngblood, Purdue University
  • Alexander B. Morgan, University of Dayton Research Institute
  • Ravi Mosurkal, University of Massachusetts - Lowell
  • Ramaswamy Nagarajan, University of Massachusetts - Lowell
  • Jack Geibig, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Alexandra Bergstein, Yale University


  • Andy Beevers, Applied Market Information
  • Cris A. Williams, ENVIRON
  • Ann Blake, Environmental and Public Health Consulting
  • Susan Hazen, Hazen Consulting
  • Mark Buczek, Independent Consultant
  • Bob Kerr, Pure Strategies
  • Ken Soltys, Pure Strategies
  • Pat Beattie, SciVera
  • Tom Osimitz, SciVera
  • Andy Hall, Sustainable Value Cycle Solutions
  • Emily Campbell, ToxServices
  • Margaret Whittaker, ToxServices


  • Pamela Miller, Alaska Community Action on Toxics
  • Moira McKernan, while at American Bird Conservancy
  • Sue Chiang, Center for Environmental Health
  • Anna Lennquist, ChemSec
  • Jerker Ligthart, ChemSec
  • Kathleen A. Curtis, Clean and Healthy New York
  • Sharyle Patton, Commonweal
  • Susan Klosterhaus, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
  • Mike Belliveau, Environmental Health Strategy Center
  • Arlene Blum, Green Science Policy Institute
  • Alex Madonik, Green Science Policy Institute
  • David Santillo, Greenpeace International
  • Gary Cohen, Health Care Without Harm (IGC)
  • Tom Lent, Healthy Building Network
  • Jim Vallette, Healthy Building Network
  • Joelle M. Fishkin, International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Ken Kraus, while at International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Ken LaSala, International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Ed Plaugher, International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Michael Murray, National Wildlife Federation
  • Brian Penttila, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
  • Ed Hopkins, Sierra Club
  • Sheila Davis, Silicon Vallye Toxics Coalition
  • Baskut Tuncak, The Center for International Environmental Law
  • Pam Eliason, Toxics Use Reduction Institute
  • Laurie Valerian, Washington Toxics Coalition

Flame Retardant Industry

  • Hideo Kawasaki, AKEDA Corporation
  • Tetsuo Kamimoto, ADEKA Corporation
  • Ray Dawson, Albemarle
  • Susan Landry, Albemarle
  • Robert Simon, American Chemistry Council
  • Jackson Morrill, American Chemistry Council
  • Guru Zingde, Amfine
  • Jay Ghosh, BASF
  • Nikolas Kaprinidis, BASF
  • Martin Klatt, BASF
  • Rodrigo Lima, BASF
  • Al Wiedow, while at BASF
  • Dick Stob, BurnGard
  • Tim Reilly, Clariant
  • Adrian Beard, Clariant
  • Geoffrey Gettliffe, Clariant
  • Thomas Kelley, Dover Chemical
  • Maggie Baumann, FRX Polymers, Inc.
  • Marc Lebel, FRX Polymers, Inc.
  • Jan-Pleun Lens, FRX Polymers, Inc.
  • Robert Campbell, Great Lakes Solutions, a Chemtura Business
  • Mary Harscher, Great Lakes Solutions, a Chemtura Business
  • Steve Scherrer, Great Lakes Solutions, a Chemtura Business
  • Gary Rex, J. M. Huber Corp
  • Pierre Georlette, ICL Industrial Products
  • Marc Leifer, ICL Industrial Products
  • Sergei Levchik, ICL Industrial Products
  • Hanna Silberberg, ICL Industrial Products
  • Joel Tenney, ICL Industrial Products
  • Andy Wang, ICL Industrial Products
  • Gerald Roston, InPore Technologies, Inc.
  • Karl-Heinz Spriesterbach, Nabaltec
  • Brigitte Dero, Phosphorous, Inorganic & Nitrogen Flame Retardants Association
  • Doug Hunter, Southern Clay Products

Compounders and Resin Manufacturers

  • Carmen Rodriquez, Altulgas International
  • Emile Homsi, DSM
  • John Friddle, Eagle Performance Products
  • Robert McKay, GE Plastics (part of Sabic)
  • Harald Wiedemann, Huntsman
  • Patricia Hubbard, PolyOne
  • Steve Paolucci, PolyOne

Product Manufacturers


  • Lisa Goldberg, Aerospace Industry Association
  • Susan Baker, Boeing
  • Charles Ingebretson, Boeing
  • John Harris, Boeing
  • Chris T. Zervas, Boeing
  • Walter Desrosier, General Aviation Manufacturers Association
  • Jim Boyle, Majilite
  • Richard Forselius, Sikorsky Aircraft/United Technology Corporation


  • Filipa Rio, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
  • Amy Lilly, Hyundai KIA America Technical Center
  • Jake Welland, Hyundai KIA American Technical Center
  • John Kreitz, Sage Automotive Interiors
  • Lynn Smith, United States Council for Automotive Research
  • Bing Xu, United States Council for Automotive Research


  • Angus Hsieh, Acer
  • Fern Abrams, Association Connecting Eletronics Industries (IPC)
  • Albert Tsang, Dell
  • Helen Holder, Hewlett-Packard
  • Cory Robertson, Hewlett-Packard
  • Bob Pfahl, iNEMI
  • Christopher Cleet, Information Technology Industry Council
  • Mark Ezzo, Intel
  • Tim McGrady, LG Electronics
  • David Thompson, Panasonic
  • Mike Moss, Samsung
  • Keika Hirai, Sony
  • Doug Smith, Sony
  • Craig Hershberg, Toshiba

Shipping Pallet

  • Mike Mullin, Brambles
  • David Deal, CHEP
  • Larry Culleen, Arnold and Porter, for iGPS
  • Gary Glass, iGPS
  • Lewis Taffer, iGPS
  • Bruce Torrey, iGPS


  • Janan Rabiah, Association for Contract Textiles
  • Brad Miller, Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association
  • Dave Panning, Glen Raven, Inc.
  • Gabe Wing, Herman Miller
  • Ryan Trainer, International Sleep Products Association
  • Aaron Smith, Kimball International Hardy Poole, National Textile Association
  • Barry A. Cik, Naturepedic
  • Yan Chen, while at Schneller
  • Sarah Friedman, SEAMS
  • Bob Beaty, TSG Finishing


  • David Wagger, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.
  • George Martin, Leigh Fibers, Inc.

U.S. Federal Government

  • Rohit Khanna, Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Dale Ray, Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Treye Thomas, Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Linda S. Birnbaum, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program
  • June K. Dunnick, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Rick Davis, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Jeffrey W. Gilman, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Shannon Cuniff, while at the Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Paul J. Yaroschak, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Peggy Auerbach, U.S. Army
  • Nikki Bass, U.S. Army
  • George Murnyak, while at the U.S. Army
  • Andrew Rak, Noblis, for the U.S. Army
  • Gwendolyn Hudson, U.S. EPA, Office of Children's Health Protection (ASPH Fellow)
  • Onyemaechi Nweke, U.S. EPA, Office of Environmental Justice
  • Linda Barr, U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
  • Paul Randall, U.S. EPA, National Risk Management Research Laboratory
  • Bradley Grams, U.S. EPA, Region 5
  • Stephen Sturdivant, U.S. EPA, Region 6
  • John Katz, U.S. EPA, Region 9
  • Eileen Sheehan, U.S. EPA, Region 9
  • Barnett Rattner, U.S. Geological Survey

State and Local Governments

  • Bob Boughton, California Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • Robert Brushia, California Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • June Soo Park, California Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • Debbie Raphael, California Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • Tom Hornshaw, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
  • Gary Styzens, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
  • Andrea Lani, Maine Department of Environmental Protection
  • Deborah Rice, while at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection
  • Alister Innes, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Alex Stone, Washington State Department of Ecology


  • Pim Leonards, ENFIRO
  • Shannon Castellarin, Environment Canada
  • Kate McKlerlie, while at Environment Canada
  • Lothar Lissner, Kooperationsstelle Hamburg IFE GmbH
  • Raluca Aurora Stepa, Kooperationsstelle Hamburg IFE GmbH
  • Harry Baikowitz, Independent Consultant

DecaBDE Partnership EPA Contacts

  • Clive Davies, U.S. EPA, Design for the Environment
  • Emma Lavoie, U.S. EPA, Design for the Environment

Technical Consultants

  • Laura Heine, Clean Production Action
  • Abt Associates, Inc.
  • SRC Inc.

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More information

If you would like more information, please contact Laura Romano at