Life Cycle Assessment of Environment-Compatible Flame Retardants: Prototypical Case Study
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Exposure, fate and modelling
ENFIRO provide a quantitative assessment of the environmental exposure that is anticipated from use of the case study flame retardants. An integrative approach centred on a structured and systematic application of modelling, experimentation and field measurements is employed.

For the modelling multimedia fate and bioaccumulation modelling tools (e.g. EUSES and ACC-Human) are used for organic compounds, and existing biogeochemical models depending on the metal FRs to be studied, to produce an initial environmental and human exposure assessment. For nanoclays and nano-metal FRs new approaches are developed.

To assess the environmental persistence of alternative FRs, persistence testing is based on ready biodegradability testing methods. For FRs with relatively high values of Kow, for which accumulation in sediments is expected to be a significant process, their biodegradation in sediments under aerobic and anaerobic condition is determined.

In the final stage a field monitoring campaign for (a number of) phosphorous based FRs and metal based FRs, and if possible, nanoclays, is conducted in several European countries to assess the environmental contamination arising from a known source (e.g. a wastewater treatment plant) as well as background contamination in a region (i.e. environmental media would be sampled at locations remote from likely sources).