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Environment & Energy Report

Toxic Chemical Exposure Higher Than EPA Calculated, Advisers Say (1)

Aug. 1, 2019, 5:24 PMUpdated: Aug. 1, 2019, 7:43 PM

Workers and wildlife are more highly exposed to a hazardous flame retardant than the EPA has estimated, agency science advisers said Aug. 1.

Demolition workers, in particular, likely could breathe in higher concentrations of the flame retardant, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), Maria T. Morandi, a consultant and exposure assessor, said.

The Environmental Protection Agency may have underestimated the amount of HBCD that could be absorbed through workers’ skin, said other members of the EPA’s Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals. EPA’s draft conclusion was that HBCD poses no risk concerns.

The flame retardant also lasts years in the environment—not months as...

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