Legislature Bans PDBEs

The Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1024 to ban polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PDBEs) in most products sold in Washington State after January 1, 2008. PDBEs are class of flame retardants used in a plethora of products. Governor Gregoire is expected to sign the bill.

Washington is one of the first states to adopt a comprehensive ban on PDBEs. There are some certain exemptions. One exemption is for a type of PDBE called “deca” in mattresses, residential upholstered furniture and electronic equipment. Products made from recycled materials containing deca are also exempt. Another exemption is new carpet cushion made from recycled foam containing less than one-tenth of 1 percent “penta” (another specific PDBE).

Architects will need to be cognizant if PDBEs are in materials they are specifying on projects and if those materials are exempt from the ban, especially if ordering materials from out-of-state suppliers and manufacturers.