NWPCA on Wal-Mart Flame Retardant Stance (Page 2)

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The mounting laws and regulations banning decaBDE may cause suppliers and retailers to revisit the use of plastic pallets containing this chemical, particularly those selling vulnerable consumer goods like food and pharmaceuticals.

* Maine passed a law in 2007 banning decaBDE in household goods. In 2010 it broadened this law to cover shipping pallets. The ban on plastic pallets begins January 1, 2012.
* Maryland passed a law last year banning decaBDE for all products. The ban on some products begins immediately; the ban on plastic pallets begins after December 31, 2013.

Unfortunately both Maine and Maryland have “grandfathered” the millions of plastic pallets in existing warehouses and pools.

* On the other hand, Oregon has banned decaBDE use for all purposes effective January 1, 2011. The law makes clear that “it is unlawful for any person to: 1) introduce into commerce; or 2) deliver for introduction into commerce in Oregon any product containing more than 0.10% by mass of” decaBDE.

The Life Cycle Analysis on the iGPS pallets indicates a weight of 47.5 lbs of which 3.4 lbs is decaBDE flame retardant. That means the decaBDE content is 7.2 percent of the overall pallet composition – far exceeding the Oregon law’s allowance.

California Watch reports iGPS is seeking an exemption from the law. In a statement to the publication iGPS said: “While the attempt to single out plastic shipping pallets now – years after the statute was enacted – is questionable, we are confident that both the underlying statute and any follow-on rule making will not affect iGPS operations….”

* Vermont has banned decaBDE in mattresses, mattress pads, upholstered furniture, televisions and computers.
* Washington has also banned decaBDE in mattresses, upholstered furniture, televisions and computers.

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