In an article published on May 1, 2019, the non-governmental organization (NGO) IPEN informed about a new report documenting “alarming levels” of brominated dioxins and brominated flame retardants found in consumer products made of recycled plastics. Together with the NGO Arnika and the University of Technology and Chemistry Prague, IPEN analyzed samples of consumer products including children’s toys, hair clips, and smart phone accessories for levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), brominated dioxins (PBDD/Fs), and dioxin-like activity. “Taken together, the data showed that the sampled children’s products and consumer products obtained in Canada, Cambodia and Japan contained significant levels of PBDD/Fs,” which the report describes as being “on the scale found in a variety of hazardous wastes, including waste incineration bag filter ash.”
Jindrich Petrlik from Arnika commented that “if someone snuck hazardous waste into a child’s toy, they would be charged with child endangerment or worse. But our current policies, the recycling exemption for PBDEs and the very weak limits we currently have for [persistent organic pollutants] POPs in waste, do exactly this.” The group is advocating for stricter controls to ensure POPs do not enter consumer goods, including through pathways such as recycling.
Chemical Watch (May 2, 2019). “‘Alarming’ levels of brominated dioxins found in recycled plastic products.”
IPEN (May 1, 2019). “Toxic soup flooding through consumer products.” (pdf)