Fired Up

Lost in all the hubbub over whether TBBPA and its cousins pose an realistic* environmental threat is the basic consideration of why those flame retardant chemicals are used in the first place: to help save lives.

May is National Electrical Safety Month in the US (we may not build much anymore, but we lead the world in calendar promotions), and a chemical supplier named Earthwise has published a pseudo public service announcement reminding that deaths from fires and burns are third leading cause of fatal home injuries in the US.

I won’t deny Earthwise’s agenda here, but let’s keep in mind that while TBBPA may cause harm to humans under certain extraordinary circumstances, it’s nothing compared to the life and property threat a burning electronics device could pose.

*While the literature suggests direct contact with or inhalation of TBBPA can have harmful effects, in practice, this would be rare.