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LIFE-FLAREX reviews the selection of products to be used during the project in the second consortium meeting at Centexbel

LIFE-FLAREX reviews the selection of products to be used during the project in the second consortium meeting at Centexbel

On Wednesday January 17th 2018, the LIFE-FLAREX consortium held its biannual project meeting at the project partner CENTEXBEL premises in Gent, Belgium. The External Advisory Board of the project attended to this meeting as part of the project strategy to gather vital inputs during this milestone. The members present were Ms. Dunja Drmac, Sustainability Officer at EURATEX, Mr. Edie Engels, president of Flame Retardant Europe association, Prof. Monica Ardanuy, textile professor at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and Mr. Denis Mottet, scientific officer at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

The meeting started with an introduction from all partners to present the project background and motivations to the External Advisory Board members. Following, the team presented the recently released deliverables from preparatory actions and followed fruitful discussions around the initial selection of textiles and flame retardants to be used during the project.

The focus of the meeting was the validation and discussion of the preliminary results and planning of next steps to maximize the impact and visibility of the project. Several alternative flame retardants from the different chemical families were pre-selected and those will be benchmarked against a selection of widely used flame retardants currently under environmental or health concern from a technical, environmental and health perspective.

The textile materials to which these flame retardants will be applied, were selected according to their representation amongst home textiles and contract for public facilities sectors and were validated with the outputs from the survey performed to the textile industry during the past months. The final selection of fabrics is polyester, cotton and blends of thereof. The full reports for the fabrics and flame retardants selection, the survey results and the preliminary technical and environmental data of selected materials are publicly available on the project website.

The presence of external observers allowed the participants to obtain a critical view of the work done and will help focusing the implementation phase more successfully by emphasizing the needs of the textile industry which currently uses these type of finishing products.

During the meeting, AEI TÈXTILS, coordinator of the project, highlighted the main outcomes of the Stakeholder’s Workshop held the day before in Brussels co-organized by LIFE-FLAREX team, the European Chemicals Agency – ECHA and EURATEX. This event brought together a total of 32 highly relevant stakeholders (chemical producers, textile industries, industrial associations and groups of interest) coming from organizations in 7 European countries (Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain). The event raised constructive comments towards the flame retardant and textile selection, and provided large interest in collaboration with the project from relevant stakeholders.

LIFE-FLAREX is a LIFE Programme project that aims to reduce the impact on the environment, human health and worker safety, of current harmful Flame Retardants used in the textile industry and their alternatives, by analyzing their environmental impact and technical functionalities and promoting the best practices for the sector

LIFE-FLAREX is co-funded by the European Commission’s LIFE+ program under the Environment Policy and Governance axe with Grant Agreement number LIFE16 ENV/ES/000374.

The project coordinator is AEI TÈXTILS, the Catalan cluster of technical textiles. Six additional partners complete the consortium: two Spanish technological centers/research institutes: LEITAT and the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (CSIC), both members of AEI TÈXTILS, the Belgian textile research center CENTEXBEL and three technical textile clusters: ATEVAL from Spain, POINTEX from Italy and CLUTEX from the Czech Republic.

LIFE-FLAREX’s objective is to reduce the impact on the environment, human health and workers’ safety, of the current flame retardants used in the textile sector, and their future alternatives, by identifying which are the best technologies available, both from the performance and from the sustainability point of view. This will be achieved with the development of the analysis of their environmental impact and functionalities in order to promote the substitution amongst the manufacturers.