The State of California’s upcoming ban (in 2008) of pentabromo-diphenylether (PBDE) flame retardants used in flexible polyurethane foams has prompted development of replacements that are not persistent in the environment, non-toxic, and non-bioaccumulative.

The State of California’s upcoming ban (in 2008) of pentabromo-diphenylether (PBDE) flame retardants used in flexible polyurethane foams has prompted development of replacements that are not persistent in the environment, non-toxic, and non-bioaccumulative. The latest is Saytex RZ 243 from Albemarle Corp., Baton Rouge, La. It reportedly provides high FR efficiency and scorch resistance. This low-viscosity, liquid bromine/phosphorus compound is used at similar or slightly higher dosages than PBDE and is a bit pricier. A year ago, Albemarle introduced its first PBDE replacement, Saytex RX 8500, a less expensive, reactive brominated compound that locks the bromine into the foam matrix.