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Monday, February 26, 2007

Stephane Dion: A timeline of inaction

In a further review of the history of bromine-laced PBDE fire retardants in Canada, I've created a timeline that shows how soon after Canadian government scientists made recommendations based on their studies to ban PBDEs, the bromine industry hired a high-powered Liberal Party strategist, John Duffy, as their lobbyist.  Then nothing happens on the file for four years, despite a major Globe and Mail report on PBDEs in food. 

In 2006, the Liberals are turfed from office, and within nine months, PBDEs are banned.

This article from 2005 The Walrus report on PBDEs, "Everyday Poisons", makes the inference explicit:

Government scientists made their results known when they recommended the government move to restrict the use of two pbde mixtures, largely used in polyurethane foams and rigid plastics in consumer appliances. And they suggested more research be done on the third mixture, known as deca-bde, just as production of deca-bde is being ramped up around the world in response to the bans against penta-bde and octa-bde.

Even so, in the face of a stiff industry lobby, no one is sure when, or if, Environment Minister Stéphane Dion will move to implement the advice of his own scientists and ban the penta-bde and octa-bde formulations from the market, let alone sharply limit the use of deca-bde.

The timeline is too long and detailed to reproduce here.  Review it yourself and ask just who was setting priorities while Stephane Dion was environment minister.

Posted by Steve Janke on February 26, 2007 | Permalink


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Polybromildyphenolethers are free radical inhibiters.

The issue is not really the presence of these substances in plastic, BUT the presence of these substances in the food chain.

The last article is probably the best for the reading, but the first two a good, yet very technical.

In effect, Bromine Flame Retardants are actuall a safety issue. It seems to be a case of danged if you do, and danged if you do not.

If these substances are kept out of the food chain, then the problem should really be resolved.

No one would want to wear a nice fleece shirt that would explode in a fire, now would they? And, no matter how reduced, recycled and reused the material may be.

The only other alternative to useing bromine, is chlorine.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-02-26 2:42:38 PM

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