The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Clariant its New Chemicals Program P2 Recognition Project Award for the company's Exolit® OP 560, a new-generation non-halogenated flame-retardant. The product, is made by Clariant's Pigments & Additives Division for polyurethane foams in automotive, furniture and consumer applications. In recognizing Clariant's Exolit® OP 560, EPA specifically cited its halogen-free "unique chemistry (that) allows maximum flame retardant efficiency without the release of potentially toxic gases into the atmosphere when combusted or the production of dangerous halogenated by-products upon degradation or combustion."
According to the makers, Exolit® OP 560 is a reactive flame-retardant that chemically binds to the polymer instead of just mixing with it. As a result, the flame non-halogenated flame retardant cannot migrate out of the polymer. For this award, EPA selected award winners from among all new chemicals submitted for registration and for which manufacturing or import commenced in the U.S. during 2008. The award-winning chemicals are identified through EPA's New Chemicals Program, which screens up to 2500 chemicals a year through the Pre-Manufacture Notice (PMN) P2 screening process as well as during more detailed new chemical reviews.