Newsletter #3 November 2008

Special issue of Chemosphere on BFR2007 has appeared

cbIVM’s department C&B was the organizer of the symposium on brominated flame retardants – BFR2007, in Amsterdam, April 21-24 2007. The symposium was successful with 250 participants and well-known keynote speakers such as prof. Ron Hites of the Indiana University and editor of Environmental Science and Technology. Now, the proceedings have been published in a special issue of Chemosphere, Volume 73, issue 2, ISSN 0045 6535. The issue contains 13 articles based on the best presentations during the symposium. The areas covered are toxicology, including endocrine disruption of BFRs and new information on zebrafish assays, occurrence in various food chains and in various countries throughout the world, presence of BFRs in indoor air and dust, in human milk and blood, sediments and biota.

BFRs still receive a lot of attention of environmental chemists and toxicologists. IVM continues to work on this topic within projects that monitor decabromodiphenylether, an important flame retardant, in human blood and in the European environment. A new European research project ENFIRO will start at 1 January 2009 and will be coordinated by IVM. Within this project, studies will be carried out on suitable alternatives for the brominated flame retardants. In collaboration with several industrial partners in this project environmental safety, fire safety aspects and production opportunities will be studied. Full life cycle analyses on the most suitable alternatives will be carried out.  This approach, i.e. looking for alternatives rather than only pointing to those compounds which are harmful, is new and shows that IVM is also attacking this environmental problem head on.