Brominated flame retardant chemicals (BFRs) have been used extensively to impart flame retardancy to a wide range of items such as electrical and electronic goods, as well as soft furnishings (fabrics, foam cushioning etc) used in homes, offices and vehicles. Due to concerns about their environmental impact, some of these BFRs have been banned from use in new goods and materials. Moreover, to prevent discarded materials containing such BFRs being recycled (and thus contaminating new goods containing recycled material), the EU has set limits on the maximum levels of these BFRs that may be present in waste materials that may be recycled. Monitoring compliance with these limits presents a very substantial technical and logistical challenge however, as conventional laboratory techniques are expensive, time-consuming and cannot be conducted on-site at waste handling sites. The WAFER project is thus evaluating a simpler measurement technique that potentially offers a rapid, user-friendly, and affordable alternative means of monitoring compliance with limits on BFRs in waste articles on-site.
Funded by EPA of Ireland