Life cycle assessment (LCA) studies on flame retardants: A systematic review

Pouya Samani*, Yvonne van der Meer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Considering the advantages and vast use of FRs in different sectors, there are serious concerns regarding negative impacts of FRs on the human health and the environment as we are exposed to FRs throughout our lives. Nonetheless, FRs are usually neglected in the studies on the environmental impacts of polymers with life cycle assessment (LCA). Firstly, this paper gives an overview over different FRs and the associated health and environmental concerns and policies. Afterwards, the LCA studies on FRs are systematically reviewed and discussed. This includes analyzing the LCA methodologies and data for different types of FRs and applications as well as the contribution of their different life cycle phases. The results of this review highlight the importance of preserving the interconnection between three domains of environmental impacts, human exposure and health concerns while considering the contribution of different life cycle phases. Furthermore, it brings insights into the pros and cons of current FR solutions, the existence of a “time lag” between production, use and end of life phases and the role LCA can play in technological development of FRs noting environmental and health concerns. The recommendations include considering fire occurrence as one of the end of life scenarios (fire-LCA), determining the optimum amount of FR with the minimum environmental and health impacts that can prevent fire occurrence and new approaches for the transition to a circular economy for FRs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020

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