NIST workshop on flame retardants and fire fighters' health

On 30 September 2009, the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) held a workshop on flame retardants and their potential impacts on fire fighters' health. NIST states that the "meeting was the result of a request from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) to have NIST serve as an organizer and objective host of a scientific workshop on the potential health effects to fire fighters of flame retardants in the aftermath of a fire." The presentations covered the role of flame retardants for fire safety, the range of different chemistries available for achieving fire safety, findings of (mostly brominated) flame retardants in the environment and biota as well as combustion products and their toxicology. Apart from a heated discussion on health effects of brominated flame retardants, a number of knowledge gaps were identified for further research.

A summary of the event with all presentations is available for download free of charge at