CPSC Staff Preliminary Risk Assessment of Flame Retardant (FR) Chemicals in Upholstered Furniture Foam. Babich, M., Thomas, T., & Hatlelid, K. Technical Report 2006.
CPSC Staff Preliminary Risk Assessment of Flame Retardant (FR) Chemicals in Upholstered Furniture Foam. [pdf]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff developed a draft performance . standard to address the hazards associated with fires involving residential upholstered furniture. Manufacturers are likely to treat some products with flame retardant (FR) chemicals if the draft standard is adopted. The CPSC staff previously assessed the potential health risks associated with the use of FR chemicals in upholstered furniture cover fabrics. In this report, the CPSC staff presents a preliminary assessment of the potential health risks associated with the use of selected FR chemicals in upholstered furniture foam. FR-treated foam samples that were available to the CPSC staff for testing included those with three different FR chemicals or mixtures that could be used to meet the draft standard: melamine (108-78-1); tris(l,3-dichloro-2-propy1)phosphate (TDCP) (13674-87-8); and FiremasterTM 550 (FM-550TM).F M-550TMi s a mixture containing triphenyl phosphate (TPP) (1 145-86-6), phenol isopropylated phosphate (PIP) (68937-41-7), and octyl tetrabromobenzoate (OTB). Samples with the highest available TDCP or FM-550TM levels were included in the study. Numerous other FR treatments that could be used in foam have been discussed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA' s) Design for the Environment Program. Q The toxicity of FR chemicals was assessed according to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), the supplemental definition of "toxic," and the CPSC chronic hazard guidelines. Although melamine has been studied in chronic bioassays, it does not satisfy the FHSA definition of toxic. Thus, exposure studies with melamine-treated foam were not necessary. Based on the available data, melamine-treated foam would not present a hazard to consumers. TDCP is considered a probable human carcinogen, based on sufficient evidence in animal studies. TDCP also induces non-cancer chronic health effects in animals. Little toxicity information on FM-550TM and its components is available. However, the CPSC staff has previously reviewed the toxicity of two FM-550TM components, TPP and PIP, as well as closely related compounds. No toxicity data were available for OTB. Mock-ups made with the foam samples were tested by the staff to assess the liquid-mediated migration of FR chemicals. These data were used to estimate dermal and oral exposures. The mock-ups were also subjected to an accelerated wear procedure to measure the release of airborne particles containing FR chemical. Two foam samples containing TDCP and one containing FM-550TM were tested. Measurements of migration and particle release from FM-550TM-treatedf oam were based on the OTB component. The other components were not measured. Exposure to vapor phase chemicals that may be emitted from the foam was assessed using a mathematical model. Based on the CPSC staff's analysis, it appears that inhalation of vapor phase FR chemical contributes the greatest portion of the total exposure. However, a mathematical model was used to estimate inhalation exposure due to the lack of empirical data. Thus, the estimated inhalation exposure is highly uncertain. Toxicity studies by the inhalation route are also lacking. Therefore, the following conclusions are based on limited exposure and/or toxicity data, and should be regarded as preliminary.

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