Phosphorus flame retardants: properties, production, environmental occurrence, toxicity and analysis

Ike van der Veen, Jacob de Boer


Since the ban on some brominated flame retardants (BFRs), phosphorus flame retardants (PFRs), which were responsible for 20% of the flame retardant (FR) consumption in 2006 in Europe, are often proposed as alternatives for BFRs. PFRs can be divided in three main groups, inorganic, organic and halogen containing PFRs. Most of the PFRs have a mechanism of action in the solid phase of burning materials (char formation), but some may also be active in the gas phase. Some PFRs are reactive FRs, which means they are chemically bound to a polymer, whereas others are additive and mixed into the polymer. The focus of this report is limited to the PFRs mentioned in the literature as potential substitutes for BFRs. The physico-chemical properties, applications and production volumes of PFRs are given. Non-halogenated PFRs are often used as plasticisers as well. Limited information is available on the occurrence of PFRs in the environment. For triphenyl phosphate (TPhP), tricresylphosphate (TCP), tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), tris(chloropropyl)phosphate (TCPP), tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP), and tetrekis(2-chlorethyl)dichloroisopentyldiphosphate (V6) a number of studies have been performed on their occurrence in air, ...Continue Reading


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