Evaluation of Wool Barriers and Chemical Additives for Fire

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 Fall 13 Evaluation of Wool Barriers and Chemical Additives for Fire Protected Furniture A Life Cycle Assessment for the Sustainable Furnishings Council Team 17: Alma Al-­‐Quqa, Megan Ashjian, Annette Fleishman, Alison Ignatowski, & Anna Weiser-­‐Woodward 3 Evaluation of Wool Barriers and Chemical Additives for Fire Protected Furniture Stanford University, Fall 2013 Professor Michael D. Lepech Life Cycle Assessment of Complex Systems Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Abstract Initiated by regulations in the 1970s, the application of flame retardant chemicals has become an increasingly popular method for producing fire resistant furniture. Recent studies, however, have exposed many of these chemical retardants as global contaminants, linking them to adverse environmental and human health effects. While several flame-­‐
retardants are now banned due to their toxicity, a new class of non-­‐halogenated retardants has emerged. Although the long-­‐term effects of these new chemicals are uncertain, their worldwide use continues to increase. Recently, inherently fire resistant textiles, such as wool, have been introduced as an alternative to chemical flame retardants. This study evaluated the environmental and human health impacts associated with two flame resistant alternatives—an organic wool barrier, EcoWool, and a non-­‐halogenated chemical flame retardant, FyrolTM A710. EcoWool and FyrolTM A710 are used for the fire protection of two similarly priced upholstered dining room chairs, manufactured by Cisco Brothers and Ethan Allen, respectively. In order to provide a consistent unit of comparison between these two products, the weights of the physical wool barrier and the chemical flame retardant required to protect one dining room chair over a period of 20 years were examined. A cradle-­‐through-­‐use phase boundary, which encompasses processes from extraction of raw materials to the end of useful life, was employed. A life cycle assessment was conducted to analyze three main damage categories—
resource depletion, ecological welfare, and human health. The evaluation of the two products using these impact measures indicated the physical wool barrier as sustainably superior in all three categories. Most notably, production and use of FyrolTM A710 resulted in higher total emissions and significant human health concerns, indicated by 80% greater carcinogenic equivalent emissions. While the chemical flame retardant also performed worse in terms of total ecological impacts, EcoWool presented greater eutrophication and summer smog potential. The EcoWool barrier, while being environmentally and socially preferable, costs 40 times more than an equivalent unit of FyrolTM A710. The small-­‐scale, labor-­‐intensive processes associated with production of EcoWool makes competition with mass-­‐
produced chemicals infeasible. Therefore, most manufacturers are likely to continue meeting flammability standards via solutions like FyrolTM A710, regardless of its associated resource and health effects. Without significant government intervention, most reform will have to take place at the consumer level. Mandating environmental labels will allow consumers to make an informed decision and give them the power to positively affect the environment, society, and future generations through their purchases.
2 TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 5 A. Overview of the Sustainable Furnishings Council ............................................................................ 5 B. Controversy Surrounding Chemical Flame Retardants .................................................................... 5 C. Goal and Scope ................................................................................................................................ 6 II. Life Cycle Inventory ................................................................................................................. 7 A. Material Acquisition, Production, and Manufacturing .................................................................... 8 B. Use ................................................................................................................................................. 12 C. End of Life ...................................................................................................................................... 12 III. Impact Assessment Results ................................................................................................. 12 A. Eco-­‐indicator 95 ............................................................................................................................. 13 B. IMPACT 2002+ ............................................................................................................................... 17 IV. Discussion ............................................................................................................................ 19 A. Economic Analysis ......................................................................................................................... 19 B. Sensitivity Analyses ....................................................................................................................... 20 C. Key Influences ................................................................................................................................ 23 V. Conclusions and Recommendations ..................................................................................... 23 A. Conclusions from Analysis ............................................................................................................. 23 B. Recommendations for Moving Forward ........................................................................................ 24 VI. Appendices .......................................................................................................................... 26 VII. Bibliography ......................................................................................................................... 37 3 LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1. ECOWOOL MODEL INPUTS ...................................................................................................................................... 9 TM TABLE 2. FYROL A710 MODEL INPUTS .............................................................................................................................. 11 TM
TABLE 3. FYROL A710 MODEL INPUTS (TRANSPORTATION) .................................................................................................. 11 TABLE 4. IMPACT CATEGORY UNITS ..................................................................................................................................... 14 TABLE 5. IMPACT CATEGORY UNITS ..................................................................................................................................... 18 TABLE 6. USE PHASE MODEL RESULTS ................................................................................................................................. 19 TABLE 7. LIFE CYCLE COSTS ................................................................................................................................................ 19 TABLE 8. SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS EXPLANATIONS ...................................................................................................................... 20 TABLE 9. ECOWOOL SENSITIVITY 1 MODEL INPUTS ................................................................................................................ 21 TM
TABLE 10. FYROL A710 SENSITIVITY 1 MODEL INPUTS ........................................................................................................ 22 TABLE 11. ECOWOOL INVENTORY ....................................................................................................................................... 28 TM
TABLE 12. FYROL A710 INVENTORY ................................................................................................................................. 29 TM
TABLE 13. FYROL A710 ENERGY INPUTS ........................................................................................................................... 29 TABLE 14. ECOWOOL TRANSPORTATION INPUTS .................................................................................................................... 29 TM
TABLE 15. FYROL A710 TRANSPORTATION INPUTS ............................................................................................................. 30 TABLE 16. ECO-­‐INDICATOR 95 WEIGHTING FACTORS .............................................................................................................. 32 TABLE 17. USER COSTS FOR ECOWOOL ................................................................................................................................ 33 TM
TABLE 18. USER COSTS FOR FYROL A710 ......................................................................................................................... 34 TABLE 19. ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS FOR ECOWOOL ............................................................................................................... 34 TM
TABLE 20. ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS FOR FYROL A710 ......................................................................................................... 34 LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1. CHARACTERIZATION COMPARISON OF FYROL A710 AND ECOWOOL (ECO-­‐INDICATOR 95 METHOD) .............................. 14 TM
FIGURE 2. NORMALIZATION COMPARISON OF FYROL A710 AND ECOWOOL (ECO-­‐INDICATOR 95 METHOD) .................................. 15 TM
FIGURE 3. WEIGHTED COMPARISON OF FYROL A710 AND ECOWOOL (ECO-­‐INDICATOR 95 METHOD) .......................................... 16 TM
FIGURE 4. SINGLE SCORE COMPARISON OF FYROL A710 AND ECOWOOL (ECO-­‐INDICATOR 95 METHOD) ..................................... 17 TM
FIGURE 5. CHARACTERIZATION COMPARISON OF FYROL A710 AND ECOWOOL (IMPACT 2002+ METHOD) ................................. 18 FIGURE 6. SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS CHARACTERIZATION (ECO-­‐INDICATOR 95 METHOD) ................................................................... 20 FIGURE 7. ECOWOOL TORNADO DIAGRAM ........................................................................................................................... 23 TM
FIGURE 8. FYROL A710 TORNADO DIAGRAM ..................................................................................................................... 23 FIGURE 9. ECOWOOL PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAMS .................................................................................................................. 26 TM
FIGURE 10. FYROL A710 PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAMS .......................................................................................................... 27 TM
FIGURE 11. FYROL A710 CARCINOGENIC PROCESS CONTRIBUTION ........................................................................................ 30 FIGURE 12. ECOWOOL CARCINOGENIC PROCESS CONTRIBUTION .............................................................................................. 30 FIGURE 13. ECOWOOL EUTROPHICATION PROCESS CONTRIBUTION ........................................................................................... 31 FIGURE 14. ECOWOOL SOLID WASTE PROCESS CONTRIBUTION ................................................................................................ 31 TM
FIGURE 15. FYROL A710 ENERGY RESOURCES PROCESS CONTRIBUTION ................................................................................. 32 TM
FIGURE 16. FYROL A710 ACIDIFICATION PROCESS CONTRIBUTION ......................................................................................... 33 FIGURE 17. ECOWOOL ACIDIFICATION PROCESS CONTRIBUTION ............................................................................................... 33 FIGURE 18. ECOWOOL SIMAPRO NETWORK DIAGRAM (4% CONTRIBUTION CUT-­‐OFF) ................................................................. 35 TM
FIGURE 19. FYROL A710 SIMAPRO NETWORK DIAGRAM (15% CONTRIBUTION CUT-­‐OFF) ......................................................... 36 TM
4 I.
Introduction A major source of concern surrounding the use of chemical flame retardants in furniture is their potential to cause adverse environmental and human health effects. Production and incineration of these chemicals result in vast quantities of daily atmospheric emissions. Furthermore, trace amounts of certain chemical flame retardants leach out of furniture throughout its lifetime, depositing in the dust that people inhale everyday. Previous life cycle assessments have attempted to quantify the overall impact of using flame retardants in furniture, taking into account the pollutants emitted from the combustion of chemicals during accidental fires. A study conducted in 2004, which compared flame retarded (FR) and non-­‐FR couches, found that the total impact of FR couches was less than the alternative when the higher frequency of fires associated with unprotected furniture was taken into account.1 While such studies point to the benefits achieved by enhanced fire safety, they also raise the question of whether or not using chemical flame retardants is the best method for minimizing human and environmental risk. Following concerns about the safety of chemical fire retardants, organic wool barriers have been introduced and marketed as a safer and more sustainable alternative. Wool’s inherent physical properties provide a natural means of fire protection, and furniture that utilizes wool for fire resistance has been shown to pass the same flammability tests as furniture that employs chemically treated foams.2 The objective of this life cycle assessment (LCA) is to compare the environmental impacts of organic wool barriers and chemical flame retardants used primarily as fire protection for commercially manufactured furniture. Through this LCA, we intend to determine if the natural wool barrier is in fact a more sustainable alternative, as well as to address the human health risks related to the use of furniture treated with chemicals. With the intent of facilitating industry decision making, we will propose recommendations for mitigating adverse environmental and human health impacts without compromising fire safety standards. A.
Overview of the Sustainable Furnishings Council Founded in High Point, North Carolina in 2006, the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) promotes sustainable practices in the home furnishings industry.3 Members of this non-­‐profit organization seek to increase awareness of sustainability issues and to assist manufacturers, retailers, and consumers in the adoption of better practices. The affiliates of the SFC recognize the urgency and magnitude of environmental issues, such as climate change and its consequences on society, which can be mitigated through sustainable practices. Members of the Council work together to develop and promote solutions in the furnishings industry that minimize hazardous emissions and pollutants, increase recyclable content, and utilize renewable primary sources. Furthermore, members commit not only to implementing sustainable practices, but also to being transparent in their practices, providing assurance for consumers who invest in these companies. In an effort to promote sustainability and to minimize environmental impact, the SFC perceives life cycle assessment as the principal measurement of sustainability. Thus, through the specified assessment of wool barriers and chemical flame retardants, this report aims to compare the impact of two alternatives over their useful lifetime. B.
Controversy Surrounding Chemical Flame Retardants 5 In recent years, chemists and researchers have shed light on the controversy surrounding chemical flame retardants used in the manufacturing of furniture. Although these retardants have been present in furniture and other household products for decades, their hazardous implications on both human health and the environment are of a relatively recent understanding. In 1975, Technical Bulletin 117 was implemented in California as a protective measure to provide flammability standards for the filling materials used in furniture.4 Still in effect as the main flammability measure today, the standard requires materials within upholstered furniture, such as raw foam, to withstand an open flame for twelve seconds. While the intention of this standard appears positive, the means by which most companies meet this standard presents problems. The cheapest solution for passing this test is to add fire retardant chemicals to the foam. Thus, this was the practice adopted by nearly all furniture manufacturing companies at the time of the bulletin’s implementation, and it continues to be the prominent choice of manufacturers today. In fact, according to market research from the Freedonia Group, worldwide demand for flame retardants skyrocketed from 526 million pounds in 1983 to 3.4 billion pounds in 2009.5 The Freedonia Group forecasts continued growth for these retardants, with a predicted demand of 4.4 billion pounds by 2014. Meanwhile, researchers in the scientific community, such as Arlene Blum, a biophysical chemist and expert on chemical flame retardants, are fighting to reverse this trend through awareness of the impacts of these chemicals on human health and the environment. The risk of chemical exposure within one’s home is arguably the most controversial health concern related to chemically treated furniture. After health risks surfaced regarding the toxic effects of polybrominated FRs in 2004, a new class of non-­‐halogenated organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs), which were perceived to be less toxic, was introduced.6 Unfortunately, many additive flame retardants, including this new class of OPFRs, escape from the furniture and settle into the dust within households. Although one piece of furniture may release only small amounts of chemicals, consumers are exposed to these pollutants throughout the furniture’s useful life. Furthermore, when treated furniture catches on fire, acutely high levels of toxic chemicals are released into the air. Human exposure to many of these substances is linked to cancer, respiratory problems, neurological defects, developmental problems, and infertility.7 Update to California Technical Bulletin 117 On November 22, 2013, California approved a new bulletin that will enable furniture manufacturers to meet flammability standards without using chemical flame retardants. Rather than banning the use of chemicals, however, the updated TB 117-­‐2013 will require all upholstered fabric to resist a smoldering cigarette test. This new methodology is based on research that confirms cigarettes as the most common cause of household fires. The revised standard will be phased in starting in January 2014.8 C.
Goal and Scope The goal of our study is to use quantitative measures to evaluate environmental impacts related to the use of chemical flame retardants and physical flame retardant barriers. We will use one fire protected dining room chair with a 20-­‐year lifetime as the functional unit to relate the inputs and outputs of both products. Similar chairs manufactured by two different furniture companies will be investigated to establish the specific products for our comparison. 6 The wool barrier product we will consider is used for the Bertoli Dining Chair manufactured by Cisco Brothers, a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. The chair includes a 19”x 18” seat cushion and a 19”x19” back cushion, both of which are approximately 3½” thick. Cisco Brothers avoids the use of chemically treated foam inserts by substituting them with organic wool from locally raised sheep. Woolgatherer Carding Mill and Warehouse supplies their signature batting blend, known as EcoWool, to the chair manufacturer. An estimated total of 6 lbs. of EcoWool encases the cushions, creating a low oxygen environment with natural fire resistance. The second dining chair we will investigate is the Brody Side Chair, produced by Ethan Allen. The chemical flame retardant used in this chair’s cushions is FyrolTM A710, which utilizes phosphorous as the active flame-­‐retarding ingredient. Unlike many chemical fire retardants that contain bromine, FyrolTM A710 is a halogen-­‐free chemical compound. Its flame retardant characteristics derive from its low volatility and thermal stability.9 In the event of a fire, FyrolTM A710 will provide protection by forming a char on the surface of the polymer to which it is added, thus insulating the polymer and preventing further decomposition.10 The seat and back cushions of the Brody Side Chair have slightly larger volumes than those used in the Bertoli Dining Chair. To provide a consistent unit for analysis, we will assume that the dimensions of both chair cushions are 19” x 18” x 3.5”, and that each chair contains two of these cushions. Considering the chair cushion dimensions and their material composition, we have determined that 0.0588 kg of FyrolTM A710 is expected to provide a comparable standard of fire protection for our functional unit as 6 lbs. of an EcoWool barrier. Furthermore, the amount of fire retardant used in each chair is expected to provide enough fire protection to fulfill the requirements set forth by California Technical Bulletin 117. For analysis purposes, we will assume that all other components of the two chairs are assembled using similar materials and processes, and that the fire protection element represents the only difference between the Cisco Brothers and Ethan Allen products. A cradle-­‐through-­‐use system boundary will be employed to compare the two alternative modes of fire protection, from extraction of materials through end of useful life. This boundary focuses on the environmental impacts associated with raw materials, energy usage, infrastructure, and emissions required for the production and transport of each product. Our system boundary excludes the packaging of both the wool and the chemical fire retardant, as well as the components of the assembled chair that are not directly related to fire protection (hardwood frame parts, legs, doweled joinery, etc.). Energy, emissions, and wastes related to furniture factory and retail store infrastructure is assumed equal for both products and is, therefore, ignored in analysis. Recycling rates of both chairs are also considered to be equal. Although end of life disposal impacts are not included in the LCA due to insufficient data, disposal scenarios are discussed. Please refer to the Appendix (Figures 9 and 10) for the process flow diagrams for each product. II.
Life Cycle Inventory This life cycle analysis was conducted according to the guidelines set forth in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14040. A commercial LCA software product, SimaPro 7, was employed as a modeling tool, and Eco-­‐indicator 95 was chosen as the primary impact assessment method. The IMPACT 2002+ assessment methodology was also employed to specifically evaluate human health related categories. Data was predominantly obtained from primary sources within the industry. 7 The standard inventory databases within SimaPro were also utilized and modified as needed to most accurately reflect the specific processes being evaluated. A.
Material Acquisition, Production, and Manufacturing Physical Wool Barrier Rearing and Shearing The wool used in the chair manufactured by Cisco Brothers is sourced from sheep at several farms on the coast of Oregon. Farms that sell their wool for the production of EcoWool follow strict growing guidelines with respect to grazing methods and avoidance of common industry practices such as carbonizing, chemical crimping, dipping, bleaching and mulesing.11 In addition, the wool must contain a minimal amount of vegetable matter.12 These farms dedicate 20% of their business to wool shearing and 80% to lamb meat sales. Sheep are sheared once a year and yield approximately 6 lbs. of fleece per shear. During the shearing process, dirty wool from frequent contact with the ground is discarded, resulting in about 15% waste. The farms that provide wool for Woolgatherer’s signature EcoWool pride themselves on simplistic organic practices. Unlike the majority of wool farms, farms that collaborate with the Woolgatherer Carding Mill do not use chemical fertilizer or pesticides. Instead, the sheep manure is used to fertilize the land. While corn and soy based products are commonly used for livestock feed, EcoWool is sheared from sheep that eat only grass and hay. The inputs and impacts of this process were modeled using average data corresponding to the rearing and shearing of sheep, as found in the SimaPro database, and adjusted when possible to reflect the true conditions of the farms in consideration. Furthermore, a 20% mass allocation was allotted to sheep rearing to reflect the portion of the farms’ activities that are dedicated to selling wool. Baling From the Oregon coast farms, sheared wool is transported a relatively short distance (ranging from 230 to 266 miles, on average) by truck to Woolgatherer Carding Mill in Montague, CA. There, a baling machine compresses two to three bales into one so that more wool can be transported at once for subsequent steps in the production process. The baling machine operates on grid electricity for 8 hours per day and produces little to no waste. Two to three days of operations yield enough baled wool to fill a 45,000 lb. capacity truck. A truck transfers the bales to San Angelo, Texas, the location of the country’s largest functioning scouring plant.13 Scouring Scouring in this context refers to the washing and drying of the wool. The bales are washed in a scourer with detergent and hot water (60 °C) and subsequently dried in a large commercial dryer. For each bale, the entire process takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Scouring removes by-­‐
products such as grease, dirt, suint (dried sweat), and vegetable matter, reducing the weight of the wool by 25%.14 The grease, when refined, becomes lanolin and is removed and sold as a co-­‐product to cosmetic companies. For the purposes of our analysis, this co-­‐product will be excluded from the system boundary. In addition to grease, the scouring effluent contains impurities that have high levels of BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) and suspended solids. For every 8.8 lbs. of scoured wool, 1.55 lbs. of BOD5 and 0.75 lbs. of solid waste are discharged.15 The scouring plant consumes, on average, 142,850 8 kWh per month from natural gas, which equates to 3.63 kWh for each fire protected chair. Once the scouring process is complete, another 45,000 lb. capacity truck returns the scoured wool to Woolgatherer Carding Mill in Montague, CA. Carding The Woolgatherer Carding Mill performs several processes on the scoured wool. To begin, a picking machine mixes and blends the compressed wool, processing approximately 400 lbs. of wool fibers per day. The picker produces 1% waste, comprising mostly of dust or large objects such as rocks. Next, the wool is processed through either a garneting or a carding machine. While a garneting machine produces less waste, a carding machine can process material at twice the speed. The energy and waste associated with these machines are comparable. For modeling, we considered the carding machine, which processes 1000 lbs. of wool per day and produces 8% waste, which is sold to make insulation. After the garneting or carding is complete, a lapper machine layers thin sheets of wool until a desired thickness is achieved, thus creating the wool batting. Lastly, the wool is fed through a needle-­‐felting machine to compress the batting into a wool barrier. The needle-­‐felting machine processes 1000 lbs. of batted wool per day within 6 hours of operation. Scouring and carding were modeled in SimaPro using average data for wool textile processing. The known solid waste from both processes and the biochemical oxygen demand from scouring were also added to the model. Chair Assembly The wool barrier is transported by truck from the Woolgather Carding Mill to Los Angeles, California, where Cisco Brothers furniture manufacturing takes places. Each truck shipment involves approximately 640 miles of transportation and contains 30,000 lbs. of wool. The final wool barrier needed for each chair weighs approximately six pounds. The wool barrier is simply laid on the cushion during the manufacturing process; therefore, no waste is produced. Although energy consumption is essential to this process, the electricity, facilities, materials and fuels required for the production of each chair is comparable; therefore, these energy inputs were not included in analysis of either chair assembly. Once the chairs are assembled, they are distributed by trucks to retail stores in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Based on the assumption that an equal number of chairs are shipped to each retail location, one truck holding 24 chairs travels an average distance of 1057 miles. The following table provides a summary of SimaPro modeling inputs for the EcoWool Barrier. Table 1. EcoWool Model Inputs SimaPro Input Category Materials/Assemblies Rearing and Shearing Shearing Waste Transportation to Baling Transportation to Scouring Scouring Waste and Emissions Transportation to Carding Carding Waste Amount 8.8 1.55 2.93 8.02 2.07 6 0.587 Unit lb. lb. ton-­‐miles ton-­‐miles lb. ton-­‐miles lb. 9 Transportation to Chair Manufacturer Transportation to Retailer Processes Baling Scouring and Carding Waste Shearing Waste Waste, inert Scouring Waste and Emissions BOD5 Solids, inorganic 2.88 ton-­‐miles 990.94 ton-­‐miles 8.8 lb. 6 lb. 1.55 lb. 1.32 lb. 0.75 lb. Chemical Flame Retardant Mining and Raw Material Refining Ethan Allen is assumed to use polyurethane foam cushions manufactured by Domfoam International. Domfoam receives its chemical flame retardants from Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) Industrial Products America (IPA). The raw material acquisition process for FyrolTM A710 begins with phosphorous and sodium chloride mining. ICL has an exclusive agreement with the Israeli government that permits them to mine minerals from the Negev Desert and the Dead Sea at lost costs.16 Both phosphate rock and sodium chloride, which are extracted from these regions, are required for the flame retardant manufacturing process. A substantial amount of energy is expended abroad in material refinement to avoid transporting excess weight associated with the raw materials. Phosphate rock is heated in an electric furnace with electrical resistance heaters to separate coke and silicate slag from the phosphorous.17 The resulting substance is liquid, elemental “white” phosphorous. White phosphorus is easily ignitable, so it must be reprocessed into red phosphorus for use in the production of chemical flame retardants.18 Furthermore, electrolysis is used to refine the sodium chloride into chlorine.19 These refined materials are transported in large quantities by barge from the Middle East to ICL IPA in Gallipolis Ferry, West Virginia, where the production of the flame retardant takes place.20 Meanwhile in Texas, natural gas and crude oil are refined into phenol and isobutylene. These petroleum-­‐based chemicals are subsequently transported to the ICL IPA plant as well. Chemical Manufacturing The refined materials are manufactured into FyrolTM A710 through a series of reactions at ICL IPA. The process starts by combining phosphorous and chlorine at 213°C to create phosphorus trichloride (PCl3), which is then oxygenated at 234°C to form phosphoryl chloride (POCl3). A mixed triaryl phosphate ester is formed by alkylating phenol with isobutylene and reacting the mixture with phosphoryl chloride.21 Phosphoryl chloride is also combined with phenol to produce triphenyl phosphate which, when combined with the phosphate ester, creates FyrolTM A710. Although the exact composition is proprietary, the MSDS on FyrolTM A710 reports that proprietary phosphate esters and triphenyl phosphate (OP(OC6H5)3) comprise 60% and 40% of the product’s weight, respectively.22 Chemical waste, including hydrochloric acid (HCl), is produced as a result of these chemical processes. HCl is sold for use in other industries; therefore, for our purposes, this co-­‐product will not be considered waste and will be 10 excluded from the system boundary. The final chemical product is 8.5% phosphorus by weight and has a density of 1182 kg/m3 at standard atmospheric conditions. ICL IPA allocates 1.66% of their total chemical manufacturing to the production of FyrolTM A710. A majority of the aforementioned processes are captured by SimaPro’s material and processes database. The following table shows the estimated amounts of phosphoryl chloride, phenol, and isobutanol required for the 0.0588 kg of FyrolTM A710 that is applied to one chair. Raw materials, transport of materials to the manufacturing plant, infrastructure, estimated emissions, and energy uses are all included in the upstream inputs for these chemicals. The amount of sludge waste associated with the chemical production for one chair is included separately, as this consideration is not accounted for by the other inputs. Table 2. Fyrol
SimaPro Input Category Materials/Assemblies Phosphoryl Chloride Phenol Isobutanol Waste Waste, sludge TM A710 Model Inputs Amount 0.029 0.0525 0.0055 0.011 Unit kg kg kg kg Application to Polyurethane Foam FyrolTM A710 is transported by truck from the West Virginia manufacturing plant to Domfoam International in Quebec, Canada. Given that FyrolTM A710 is an additive flame retardant, it is applied to the polyurethane foam without chemical bonding. The chemical is incorporated into and dispersed evenly throughout the polyurethane foam.23 The chemical constitutes approximately 5% by weight of the resulting foam.24 Chair Assembly After chemical application, the polyurethane foam is shipped by truck to Ethan Allen’s plant in Maiden, North Carolina, where essentially all of their upholstered furniture manufacturing takes place.25 Given that the chemical comprises 5% of the foam cushion weight, one of Ethan Allen chairs contains approximately 0.0588 kg of the fire retardant chemical. Once the chair is manufactured, it is transported by truck to Ethan Allen retail stores throughout the country. Transportation of the chair requires addition modeling inputs as shown in Table 3 below. TM
Table 3. Fyrol A710 Model Inputs (Transportation) SimaPro Input Category Amount Unit Materials/Assemblies Transport to Foam Manufacturer 0.062 ton-­‐miles Transportation to Chair Manufacturer 1.35 ton-­‐miles Transportation to Retailers 1219 ton-­‐miles 11 B.
Use
Once purchased, each assembled chair has a lifespan of approximately 20 years, reflecting two generations of users. Our SimaPro model will attempt to capture potential human health impacts associated with the use of a chair containing the flame retardant by incorporating indoor air emissions over a ten year period. Although FyrolTM A710 has a proprietary composition, triphenyl phosphate comprises 40% of the chemical compound; furthermore, FyrolTM A710 belongs to the aryl phosphate chemical family. Given that the database of indoor air emissions within SimaPro is limited, our model will consider the median concentration of tris-­‐2-­‐ethylhexyl phosphate (TEHP), a non-­‐halogenated organophosphate ester whose chemical composition aligns closely with FyrolTM A710. Several recent studies have analyzed dust and indoor air samples in homes to detect different types and levels of flame retardants.26 One study that focused on organophosphate ester flame retardants in the indoor environment reported concentrations of individual organophosphates in air samples to be as high as 250 ng/m3. Given that an average individual inhales approximately 20 m3 of air per day, this concentration would equate to an indoor air emission of approximately 18,250 micrograms (18,250,000 ng) over ten years. Therefore, for the use phase portion of our model, we will include an indoor air emission of 18,250,000 ng of TEHP. C.
End of Life
The end of life phase may involve recycling, incineration, or landfilling. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 3 million tons of office furniture and other furnishings are discarded each year as municipal solid waste (MSW).27 Recycling and incineration management schemes are not frequently employed for furniture containing fire retardants for several reasons. First, recycling has the potential to contaminate workers and nearby communities. Furthermore, inferior performance of recycled FR products is not uncommon. Incineration, if not executed properly, may result in the release of highly toxic degradation products; additionally, controlled incineration processes may be extremely costly. Therefore, as noted by a study that reviewed the use and disposal of flame retarded products, a large percentage of FR products are sent to landfills.28 More generally, there is only limited development of programs promoting the recycling and recovery of commercial upholstered furniture, regardless of whether or not it contains flame retardant chemicals. A majority of the recovery and reuse of upholstered furniture is dedicated to carpet cushioning manufacturing from scrap recovery.29 Based on the factors discussed previously, we will assume that both chairs being evaluated are sent to a landfill, as this reflects the most probable end of life scenario. Given that the disposal scenario for each chair will be the same, we will exclude this life cycle phase from our analysis. Although there will be landfill emissions associated with the chemically treated chair, quantifying these emissions is difficult due to lack of data. III.
Impact Assessment Results
The baseline results reflect the use of the Eco-­‐indicator 95 assessment method, which aggregates and characterizes the potential environmental impacts of the life cycle inventory. Through the Eco-­‐indicator 95 assessment process, the inventory is classified by a number of methods, such as characterization, normalization, weighting, and a one-­‐dimensional environmental single score. In addition to the primary assessment method, we utilize an additional method for analyzing our product 12 inventories. The IMPACT 2002+ assessment method is used to obtain more comprehensive results based on four general damage categories—human health, ecosystem quality, climate change, and resources. A.
Eco-indicator 95
Characterization Through characterization, substances from the inventory analysis are assigned to the following impact categories: greenhouse, ozone layer, acidification, eutrophication, heavy metals, carcinogens, summer smog, winter smog, energy resources, and solid waste. The greatest value in each impact category is scaled to 100%. Figure 1 displays the characterization comparison of the chemical flame retardant, FyrolTM A710, and the physical wool barrier, EcoWool. Please refer to Table 4 for the equivalent unit for each impact category. Based on this graph, FyrolTM A710 appears to have a greater impact in the greenhouse gases, ozone layer, acidification, heavy metals, winter smog, and energy resources categories. The carcinogenic impact, which relates directly to human health, is the most significant. According to this figure, the chemical flame retardant produces approximately 20 times more BaP-­‐equivalent emissions than the physical wool barrier. The chemical manufacturing of FyrolTM A710 contributes most significantly to its total carcinogenic impact (see Appendix Figure 11). The major carcinogens emitted during manufacturing include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chromium (VI), and benzo(a)pyrene. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and chromium (VI) are emitted into the atmosphere as a result of chemical processing, ore refining, and incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Major sources of benzo(a)pyrene, another PAH, include petroleum refining and chemical waste incineration. It is interesting to note that the production of phenol, in particular, represents 60% of FyrolTM A710’s carcinogenic related emissions (see Appendix Figure 11). While the carcinogenic impact of the EcoWool barrier is low relative to the chemical flame retardant, nearly 98% of the BaP-­‐equivalents originate from the rearing and shearing and baling processes, as shown by Figure 12 (see Appendix). As mentioned earlier, EcoWool is sourced from farms that do not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides; it is likely that if these products were used, the carcinogenic impact would increase. Figure 1 also reveals that the EcoWool barrier results in higher eutrophication, summer smog, and solid waste impacts than the chemical. Of these categories, eutrophication and solid waste represent the most significant difference between EcoWool and FyrolTM A710. Eutrophication, which refers to an excess of nutrients in a body of water, can severely impact water quality and biodiversity. As shown by Figure 13 (see Appendix), the eutrophication impact of EcoWool can be attributed, in large part, to the rearing and shearing process. This observation reflects the use of manure as fertilizer on the farms from which EcoWool is sourced. Excessive nutrients such as ammonia and nitrogen oxides emanate from the sheep manure and leach into nearby water supplies, thereby contributing to eutrophication. In addition to eutrophication, the solid waste category represents a significant difference between the two products—EcoWool results in approximately three times more solid waste generation than FyrolTM A710. More than half of the total solid waste generation for EcoWool occurs during the rearing and shearing, scouring, and carding processes (see Appendix Figure 14). These processes remove dirt, grease, and fine particles from the raw wool. Therefore, the solid waste generation of EcoWool is highly dependent on wool’s natural state. By comparison, the production of FyrolTM A710 results in significantly less waste because the chemical manufacturing process is quite 13 efficient. Overall, characterization of the inventory reveals the relative benefits and shortcomings of each product with respect to specified environmental impacts. CharacterizaQon (%) 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Fyrol A710 EcoWool TM
Figure 1. Characterization Comparison of Fyrol A710 and EcoWool (Eco-­‐indicator 95 Method) Table 4. Impact Category Units Impact category Equivalent Unit Greenhouse kg CO2 Ozone layer kg CFC-­‐11 Acidification kg SO2 Eutrophication kg PO4 Heavy metals kg Pb Carcinogens kg B(a)P Summer smog kg C2H4 Winter smog kg SPM Energy resources MJ LHV Solid waste kg Normalization Normalization of the inventory involves dividing each impact category by a reference, thereby allowing for a more straightforward comparison of the two products. Normalization reveals to what extent a specific impact category contributes to the environmental problem overall. Figure 2 illustrates that the heavy metals and energy resources categories have the greatest environmental effect. Furthermore, FyrolTM A710 has a more significant impact on both of these categories. The particularly significant effect of FyrolTM A710 on the heavy metals category can be attributed to emissions of heavy metals that occur during raw material refining and chemical manufacturing. Nickel, cadmium, and 14 antimony represent the majority of the heavy metal emissions associated with FyrolTM A710. Antimony is a toxic heavy metal of particular importance in this process; antimony is often used as a synergist in the production of chemical flame retardants to enhance their efficiency. In addition to heavy metals, the energy resources category appears to be of interest based on the normalization graph. A majority of the energy consumption for FyrolTM A710 occurs during the mining and chemical production processes, although the transportation processes account for 29% of the total energy consumed (see Appendix Figure 15). Characterization and normalization of the inventory reveals that, for both products, a single life cycle phase dominates in generating emissions. In particular, the rearing and shearing process for EcoWool and the chemical manufacturing process for FyrolTM A710 appear to cause the most significant impacts on both humans and the environment. This observation is also reflected within the SimaPro product network diagrams—the thickness of the connecting lines indicate relative contribution impacts (see Appendix Figures 18 and 19). NormalizaQon 0.48 0.44 0.4 0.36 0.32 0.28 0.24 0.2 0.16 0.12 0.08 0.04 0 Fyrol A710 EcoWool TM
Figure 2. Normalization Comparison of Fyrol A710 and EcoWool (Eco-­‐indicator 95 Method) Weighting Weighting of the inventory assigns factors to each impact category based on their perceived importance with regard to effects on resource depletion, human health, and ecological health. Please refer to the Appendix (Table 16) for the weighting factors and criteria that are applied to each impact category based on the Eco-­‐indicator 95 method. The severity of each impact category is indicated by Eco-­‐indicator points (Pt), where 1 Pt represents one thousandth of the yearly environmental load of one average European inhabitant. The weighting and single score graphs (Figures 3 and 4) display the overall environmental effect of each product. Based on Figure 3, it becomes evident that heavy metals, acidification, and carcinogens are the impact categories of greatest concern. In all three of these categories, FyrolTM A710 has a greater impact than EcoWool. The damage caused by heavy metal and carcinogenic emissions, which have been discussed previously, relates directly to human health. 15 Acidification causes impairment to the ecosystem. The acidification emissions resulting from FyrolTM A710 can be attributed primarily to chemical production (see Appendix Figure 16). During chemical production, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides originate from the combustion of fossil fuels. In addition, transportation, which causes nitrogen oxides to be emitted into the atmosphere, accounts for 40% of FyrolTM A710’s total acidification impact. It is important to note that EcoWool’s acidification equivalent emissions are relatively close to FyrolTM A710’s. Acidifying pollutants, such as ammonia, are emitted into ambient air as a result of various agricultural activities (see Appendix Figure 17). Figure 4 shows that when each category is added, the total impact resulting from the production and use of FyrolTM A710 is nearly four times the total impact resulting from the production and use of the EcoWool barrier. Overall, the single score impact assessment results suggest that EcoWool is the environmentally preferable option for fire protected furniture. WeighQng (Pt.) 2.40 2.00 1.60 1.20 0.80 0.40 0.00 Fyrol A710 EcoWool TM
Figure 3. Weighted Comparison of Fyrol A710 and EcoWool (Eco-­‐indicator 95 Method) 16 Single Score (Pt.) 3.50 Winter smog Summer smog 3.00 Carcinogens Heavy metals 2.50 Eutrophicaqon Acidificaqon 2.00 Ozone layer Greenhouse 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00 Fyrol A710 EcoWool TM
Figure 4. Single Score Comparison of Fyrol A710 and EcoWool (Eco-­‐indicator 95 Method) B.
IMPACT 2002+
The IMPACT 2002+ assessment methodology links the inventory emissions results through midpoint categories to four general damage categories. The human health damage category is associated with human toxicity, ionizing radiation, and ozone layer depletion effects. Ecosystem damage is linked to ozone layer depletion, respiratory organics, aquatic ecotoxicity, aquatic acidification, terrestrial ecotoxicity, terrestrial acidification and nutrification, and land occupation. Furthermore, climate change damage is associated with global warming, while resource depletion damage is associated with non-­‐renewable energy and mineral extraction impacts. Assessment through this methodology allows for more general conclusions to be drawn regarding the effects of EcoWool and FyrolTM A710 on human health, ecosystem health, and resource depletion. The characterization of the inventory based on this method (Figure 5) presents results similar to those obtained from the Eco-­‐
indicator 95 method. Based on this figure, it is evident that FyrolTM A710 causes more human health damage than EcoWool. With respect to ecosystem health, there appears to be a trade-­‐off between the two products. While EcoWool produces less damage than FyrolTM A710 in terms ozone layer depletion, aquatic ecotoxicity, aquatic acidification, and terrestrial ecotoxicity, it is more detrimental in terms of terrestrial acidification and nutrification and land occupation. Finally, with respect to resource depletion, EcoWool appears to be the more sustainable alternative, as it consumes less non-­‐renewable energy and its mineral extraction is negligible compared to FyrolTM A710. 17 In addition to presenting more comprehensive results, the IMPACT 2002+ method was employed to more accurately capture the effects of FyrolTM A710’s use phase emissions. This methodology is more recent than the Eco-­‐indicator 95 method; therefore, its inventory of carcinogenic substances is more current. Based solely on the carcinogenic impact category, the use phase emissions related to FyrolTM A710 becomes negligible when compared to the other phases of its life cycle (Table 6). This outcome suggests that the impacts associated with the chemical leaching out over the useful life of the product are much less worrisome than the impacts associated with its production. 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% -­‐20% IMPACT 2002+ CharacterizaQon (%) Fyrol A710 EcoWool TM
Figure 5. Characterization Comparison of Fyrol A710 and EcoWool (IMPACT 2002+ Method) Table 5. Impact Category Units Impact category Equivalent Unit Carcinogens kg C2H3Cl eq Non-­‐carcinogens kg C2H3Cl eq Respiratory inorganics kg PM2.5 eq Ionizing radiation Bq C-­‐14 eq Ozone layer depletion kg CFC-­‐11 eq Respiratory organics kg C2H4 eq Aquatic ecotoxicity kg TEG water Terrestrial ecotoxicity kg TEG soil Terrestrial acid/nutri kg SO2 eq 2 Land occupation m org. arable land-­‐yr Aquatic acidification kg SO2 eq 3-­‐
Aquatic eutrophication kg PO4 Global warming kg CO2 eq Non-­‐renewable energy MJ primary Mineral extraction MJ surplus 18 Table 6. Use Phase Model Results % Contribution to Life Cycle Phase or Process Carcinogen Impact Raw Material Acquisition 99.99279% and Production Phases Transportation 0.00719% Use Phase 0.00001% IV.
Discussion
A key objective of conducting a life cycle assessment is to identify data elements that contribute significantly to the results, as well as to determine a reasonable level of confidence in the final results. In this section, we will examine the influence of economics and evaluate the sensitivity of certain modeling inputs so that more comprehensive conclusions can be drawn from our analysis. A.
Economic Analysis
Reported below is a summary of the total life cycle costs for EcoWool and FyrolTM A710. Please refer to the Appendix (Tables 17 through 20) for more detailed information regarding calculations of the user and environmental costs. Regarding user costs, the price that each furniture manufacturer pays for their flame retardant material, as well the price the consumer pays for the flame retardant, is reported in the Appendix (Tables 17 and 18). It was assumed, based on industry research, that the average retail price for an upholstered chair is four times the cost of the material components. The economic analysis inherently accounts for all upstream processes. For the wool barrier, upstream processes include cost of the raw wool purchased from the farm, the cost of carding and scouring the wool, and transportation costs. For FyrolTM A710, upstream processes include the purchase and processing of the raw materials, as well as the cost of applying FyrolTM A710 to the foam. Also displayed in Tables 17 and 18 is the cost of landfill disposal for both the wool barrier and the chemical retardant. Considering that the cost of disposing a chair is approximately $20.00, the disposal of the retardant was approximated using a proportion of the retail price of the retardant versus the entire chair.30 The environmental cost calculations are presented in Tables 19 and 20 of the Appendix. The environmental costs were derived using the emissions inventory of each product and applying a damage cost to emitted pollutants. Overall, Table 7 shows that FyrolTM A710 has a 98% total life cycle cost advantage compared to EcoWool. The greater environmental cost associated with the chemical fire retardant is clearly outweighed by the significantly smaller user cost. Product User Cost Environmental Cost Total Life Cycle Cost Table 7. Life Cycle Costs Summary of Life Cycle Costs TM
TM
EcoWool Fyrol A710 Fyrol A710 Cost Advantage $184.83 $1.25 99% $1.97 $3.41 -­‐73% $186.80 $4.66 98% 19 As discussed in the impact assessment results section above, EcoWool’s most impactful emissions are phosphates that contribute to eutrophication. Phosphates are harmful to the environment because they encourage the growth of algae. Increases in algae change the ecosystem of a body of water, making it more difficult and more expensive to treat drinking water. One chair’s worth of wool produces 0.471 kg of PO4 equivalent emissions. It was calculated that the average annual rainfall over the land associated with one chair, when coming into contact with this amount of phosphates, would produce water with a concentration of 0.098 mg/L. This concentration is just below the EPA’s limit of 0.1 mg/L for water that is not discharging directly into lakes or reservoirs that are used for drinking water.31 If the cost of treating eutrophied water is considered, one chair’s worth of rainfall would require a cost of $48.00 for drinking water treatment, in comparison to $9.60 to treat clean water. B.
Sensitivity Analyses
Various assumptions were used in this LCA. Several model inputs were chosen for these sensitivity analyses because of the uncertainty surrounding the assumptions. We also inspected inputs that were not necessarily uncertain, but that can vary within the industry. Parameters that had negligible effects on our results were not considered. Figure 6 shows the inventory emissions from each of our sensitivity analyses. Refer to Table 8 for a description of the variables associated with the legend in Figure 6. SensiQvity Analysis CharacterizaQon (%) 120% 100% 80% EcoWool Baseline EcoWool Barrier Sensiqvity 1 (UB) 60% 40% 20% 0% EcoWool Barrier Sensiqvity 2 (UB) EcoWool Barrier Sensiqvity 2 (LB) Fyrol A710 Baseline Fyrol A710 Sensiqvity 1 (UB) Fyrol A710 Sensiqvity 2 (UB) Fyrol A710 Sensiqvity 2 (LB) Figure 6. Sensitivity Analysis Characterization (Eco-­‐indicator 95 Method) Table 8. Sensitivity Analysis Explanations Legend Name Input Variable Investigated EcoWool Barrier Sensitivity 1 (UB) Clean wool to dirty wool ratio decreased to 40% 20 EcoWool Barrier Sensitivity 2 (UB) EcoWool Barrier Sensitivity 2 (LB) TM
Fyrol A710 Sensitivity 1 (UB) TM
Fyrol A710 Sensitivity 2 (UB) TM
Fyrol A710 Sensitivity 2 (LB) Number of chairs on retailer truck decreased by 50% Number of chairs on retailer truck increased by 50% TM
Percentage of Fyrol A710 concentration increased to 30% Number of chairs on retailer truck decreased by 50% Number of chairs on retailer truck increased by 50% EcoWool Barrier Sensitivity 1 The scouring plant in Texas reported that 25% of raw wool is waste by weight, and the other 75% is useable wool fiber. However, general industry sources indicate that between 40% and 60% of wool fleece is useable wool fiber.32 To test the sensitivity of this uncertainty, we performed another analysis assuming that only 40% of the wool entering the scouring plant can be used for barrier production. Changing this input variable nearly doubled the weight of sheep fleece needed from the farm. Emissions increased overall, as shown by Figure 6 (see EcoWool Sensitivity 1 (UB)). In particular, eutrophication related emissions increased by 32% and solid waste related emissions increased by 62%. Table 9 lists the wool barrier model inputs impacted by changing the percentage of useable wool fiber. Table 9. EcoWool Sensitivity 1 Model Inputs Value Used for Value Used for SimaPro Input Baseline Sensitivity Analysis Analysis Clean Wool Weight/Dirty Wool Weight 75 40 Dirty Wool Weight 8.8 16.5 Scouring Plant Electricity 3.98 7.47 Grease Weight 1.45 2.72 Waste from Scouring 0.75 7.16 Sheep Required 1.7 3.2 Waste from Farm 1.55 2.91 Unit % lb./chair kWh/chair lb./chair lb./chair sheep/chair lb./chair EcoWool Barrier Sensitivity 2 The second sensitivity analysis considered the transportation of manufactured chairs to retailers (EcoWool Sensitivity 2 (UB) and (LB)). Cisco Brothers reported that 24 of their Bertoli chairs are transported by truck to their retail locations. As this was the most significant stage of transportation, an investigation was performed to understand the effect of changing the number of chairs on a truck by +/-­‐ 50%. A change in emissions was noted, but was not significant. FyrolTM A710 Sensitivity 1 When performing a sensitivity analysis for FyrolTM A710, the predominant factor is the percentage of FyrolTM A710 in each chair cushion. Domfoam reported that they use a 5% concentration by weight of FyrolTM A710 in their foam cushions. Within the industry, however, it is not uncommon for this concentration to be as high as 30%.33 A sensitivity analysis was conducted to examine the effect of raising the concentration of FyrolTM A710 using the inputs in Table 10, shown below. This dramatically increased all emissions, most notably those related to the ozone layer, heavy metals, and carcinogens, all of which increased by 614%. This suggests that the overall impact of FyrolTM A710 is highly sensitive to the amount of chemical retardant required for foam protection. 21 TM
Table 10. Fyrol A710 Sensitivity 1 Model Inputs Value Used Value Used SimaPro Input for Baseline for Sensitivity Analysis Analysis Fire Retardant Weight/Cushion Weight 5 30 Phenol 0.0525 0.3151 Phosphoryl Chloride 0.029 0.176 Isobutylene 0.0055 0.033 Sludge 0.011 0.0658 Unit % kg kg kg kg FyrolTM A710 Sensitivity 2 An analysis was also performed to explore the effect of transportation on FyrolTM A710 (Fyrol A710 Sensitivity 2 (UB) and (LB)). Similar to EcoWool, the emissions varied when the number of chairs per truck changed, but these results were insignificant, especially when compared to the results of varying the concentration of FyrolTM A710. As demonstrated by the tornado diagrams (Figure 7 and Figure 8), transportation has a minimal effect on the single score results. The ratio of clean to dirty wool changed the single score for EcoWool by 43%, while the transportation increased or decreased the single score by 14%. Increasing the concentration of FyrolTM A710 increased the single score by 560%, while transportation increased or decreased the single score by 3.4%. By considering the aggregated results, it can be seen that EcoWool always yields a lower single score. However, in the eutrophication and solid waste categories, EcoWool always results in higher emissions. Furthermore, when the percentage of dirty wool is increased, EcoWool causes more acidification emissions than the FyrolTM A710 baseline. Several variables that were considered to have an impact on the assessment results were not practical to model in SimaPro. The wool could be scoured locally to the carding mill, reducing the cost and emissions of transporting the dirty wool (much of which becomes waste) to the scouring plant in Texas. In the case of EcoWool, chairs are transported to 3 different wholesale locations, namely Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY, and it was assumed that an equal number of chairs are transported to each location. Altering this proportion could change the transportation emissions as well. The chemicals used in the production of FyrolTM A710 could be sourced from locations closer to the processing plant, which would reduce transportation costs and emissions. 22 Single Score SensiQvity for EcoWool Clean Wool to Dirty Wool Raqo Number of Chairs on Retail Truck 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 Eco-­‐Indicator 95 Single Score (Pt) Figure 7. EcoWool Tornado Diagram Single Score SensiQvity for FyrolTM A710 % Fyrol in Foam by Weight Number of Chairs on Retail Truck 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Eco-­‐indicator 95 Single Score (Pt) 14 16 18 20 TM
Figure 8. Fyrol A710 Tornado Diagram C.
Key Influences
Our economic analysis reveals that cost is the key driver for selecting the fire retardant. Given that both types of chairs are sold at similar prices, it would be reasonable to assume that the furniture manufacturing company would want to pay lower costs for the components of the chair in order to gain the highest profit. For the purposes of this study, both fire retardants are assumed to perform equally in terms of fire resistance. Therefore, regulatory and performance-­‐based drivers can be considered as weak system drivers. V.
Conclusions and Recommendations
A.
Conclusions from Analysis
23 This project assessed the sustainability of two alternatives for furniture fire protection by evaluating their environmental, social, and economic impacts. In terms of environmental and human health concerns, the EcoWool barrier proves to be superior to an equivalent amount of FyrolTM A710. With respect to ecological health, FyrolTM A710 contributes more to acidification and greenhouse gases, while the wool barrier has greater impact on eutrophication and land use, and also generates more solid waste. The total weighted ecological impact of FyrolTM A710 surpasses EcoWool by at least 0.06 Pts. While these results appear similar, it is important to note that they reflect the baseline case and that, based on the sensitivity analysis, the ecological impact of FyrolTM A710 has the potential to become more severe. The results also demonstrated that resource depletion from the extraction of minerals and fossil fuels, as well as energy necessary for production of FyrolTM A710, are worse than for the EcoWool barrier. Considering human health concerns, the consequences associated with the life cycle of FyrolTM A710 are much more severe. As shown through the results of both Eco-­‐indicator 95 and IMPACT 2002+, nearly every category related to human health impairment shows worse impacts from production of FyrolTM A710. In particular, the chemical flame retardant greatly overshadows EcoWool in the categories of heavy metals and carcinogens. The significant carcinogenic equivalent emissions associated with the FyrolTM A710 life cycle undoubtedly support a strong argument against the use of chemically-­‐treated furniture. However, the carcinogenic emissions in homes during the use phase of the furniture appear to be trivial when compared to those resulting from production of the FyrolTM A710. It is also important to note that these results represent the best-­‐case scenario for one of the most emission-­‐conscious chemical fire retardants currently on the market. Halogenated fire retardants, as well as furniture cushions that use up to 10 times the amount of chemicals per unit volume, are still very much in high production. The grave reality is that while these results demonstrate the dangerous health and environmental risks associated with production and use of a chemical fire retardant, average emissions for the industry are bound to be worse. The EcoWool barrier, while more environmentally and socially responsible, costs 40 times more than an equivalent unit of FyrolTM A710. The small-­‐scale, labor-­‐intensive processes associated with production of EcoWool makes competition with mass-­‐produced chemicals infeasible. Therefore, without reform, most manufacturers will likely continue to meet flammability standards via solutions like FyrolTM A710, regardless of its associated resource and health effects. B.
Recommendations for Moving Forward
Considering the life cycles of these products and the nature of existing flammability regulations, there are several measures that can be implemented to reduce impacts on both human and ecological health. Our results indicate cost as the key motivator for the abundant use of chemical fire retardants despite their adverse impacts. Reform of current regulations has the potential to lessen the influence of this economic driver, and recent changes to California’s Technical Bulletin 117 serve as a valuable initial measure. While the original TB 117 employed an unrealistic evaluation of fire protection for furniture, with its focus aimed at the filling material, the updated TB 117-­‐2013 focuses on the exterior material. This alternative will facilitate manufacturers in achieving adequate fire resistance without the use of chemical flame retardants.34 It is important to note, however, that TB 117-­‐2013 does not ban the use of 24 chemical fire retardants. Therefore, as long as chemical flame retardants remain the most economical method for meeting the new standard, it is likely that they will continue to dominate the industry in the absence of more stringent reforms. One law currently under reform is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which regulates chemicals used in everyday products. Passed in 1976, this law approved over 60,000 chemicals for use. However, only 200 of these chemicals have actually been tested for safety and approximately 20 percent of these chemicals have proprietary ingredients. Proposed legislation, such as the Safe Chemicals Act, would allow the EPA to regulate chemicals more closely.35 Such legislation would enable the EPA, guided by suggestions from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), to conduct life cycle assessments that thoroughly compare fire safety benefits with environmental costs and health impacts. In addition, regulatory instruments aimed at requiring new and existing chemicals to be assessed through mandatory testing may force manufacturers to investigate innovative, less toxic chemical formulations and adapt their production processes. Increased costs associated with required performance and safety standards may enable non-­‐chemical alternatives, such as wool barriers, to become more cost competitive. Furthermore, to enhance transparency and encourage an elevated consumer awareness of the ecological and societal impacts of the products they purchase, appropriate environmental labeling could be required. Currently, it is extremely difficult to obtain any useful information related to composition or production of FyrolTM A710. Regulations that require increased disclosure will inform consumers of the consequences of their purchase, and may even encourage public pressure for more sustainable solutions. For EcoWool, third party labeling is also recommended, as this would reveal the benefits associated with this product as well as important environmental consequences. The wool batting used for EcoWool currently has Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification.36 This standard requires all phases of textile production to be Oregon Tilth Certified Corganic (OCTO). The Oeko-­‐Tex Standard 100 and the Oeko-­‐Tex Standard 1000, which are independent testing and certification systems that evaluate all stages of textile production, may be valuable to obtain as well.37 Ensuring the public’s right to know about the safety of the furniture they purchase may also influence the demand and, subsequently, the costs of flame retardant alternatives. Ultimately, labels will allow consumers to make an informed decision and give them the power to positively affect the environment, society, and future generations through their purchases. 25 VI.
Appendices
Rearing(&(
Shearing(
Baling(
Scouring(
Carding(
(Assembly(
Use(
End(of(
Life(
System Boundary
3,148$lbs.$grass$
931$gallons$H2O$
2,482$lbs.$manure$
Rearing$and$
Shearing$
emissions$
8.8$lbs.$raw$wool$
1.55$lbs.$solid$waste$
8.8'lbs.'raw'wool'
Baling'
0.1'kWh'electricity'
8.8'lbs.'
compressed'
wool'
emissions'
1.45)lbs.)grease)
(lanolin))
3.63)kWh)electricity)
0.0645)lbs.)detergent)
102)lbs.)H2O)
Scouring)
6.6)lbs.)scoured)
wool)
8.8)lbs.)compressed)wool)
0.75)lbs.)solid)waste) emissions)
6.6(lbs.(scoured(wool(
Carding(
6(lbs.(carded(wool(
0.278(kWh(electricity(
0.6(lbs.(solid(waste(
Figure 9. EcoWool Process Flow Diagrams 26 Raw$
Material$
Extrac.on$
Raw$
Material$
Refinement$
Chemical$
Produc.on$$
Applica.on$
to$Foam$
$Assembly$
Use$
End$of$Life$
System Boundary
Negev$Desert$
Dead$Sea$
Phosphate$Rock$
Raw$Material$
Extrac.on$
Texas$
Sodium$Chloride$
Liquid$Phosphorus$
Electricity$
Sodium$Chloride$
Heat$
Propylene$
Propylene$
emissions$
Heat$
Phosphate$Rock$
Raw$Material$
Refinement$
emissions$
solid$waste$
Chlorine$
Phenol$
Isobutylene$
solid$waste$
Phenol)
HCl)
sludge)
Liquid)Oxygen)
Liquid)
Phosphorus)
Chlorine)
POCl3)
Heat)
Heat)
FyrolTM)A710)
POCl3)
Heat)
Phenol) Isobutylene)
sludge)
HCl)
Chemical)ProducCon)
FyrolTM*A710*
Polyurethane*Foam*
Applica'on*
to*Foam*
emissions*
Fire*Protected*
Cushion*
solid*waste*
Use$
emissions$
TM
Figure 10. Fyrol A710 Process Flow Diagrams 27 Table 11. EcoWool Inventory Value Used for SimaPro Input Baseline Analysis Finished Wool Weight 6 Lapper Machine Speed-­‐Weight 166.7 Lapper Machine Speed-­‐Chairs 27.8 Time to Lap 1 chair 0.036 Lapper Electricity Requirement 0.117 Carding Machine Speed-­‐Weight 166.7 Carding Machine Speed-­‐Chairs 25.56 Carding Machine Power 2.73 Carding Electricity Requirement 0.11 Carding Waste-­‐Time 13.34 Carding Waste-­‐Chairs 0.52 Picked Wool Weight 6.52 Picker Machine Speed-­‐Weight 400 Picker Machine Speed-­‐Chair 61.33 Picker Electricity Requirement 0.05 Picker Waste-­‐Chair 0.07 Carding Process Electricity Requirement 0.277 Carding Process Waste 0.587 Scoured Wool Weight 6.59 Water Requirement 102 Detergent Requirement 0.0645 Scouring Plant Speed-­‐Weight 1000 Scouring Plant Speed-­‐Chairs 113.86 Scouring Electricity Requirement 3.98 (Clean Wool Weight)/(Dirty Wool Weight) 0.75 (Grease Weight)/(Dirty Wool Weight) 0.165 (Other Waste Weight)/(Dirty Wool Weight) 0.085 Grease co-­‐product Weight 1.45 Scouring Process Waste 0.75 Days to fill truck with bales 2.5 Dirty Wool Weight 8.78 Chairs per Compressed Bale 82.0 Baler Speed-­‐Chairs 0.005 Grass Intake-­‐1 Sheep 5 Water Intake-­‐1 Sheep 1.25 Total Fleece + Waste 10.332 Sheep Requirement 1.7 Raw Wool Output-­‐1 Sheep 6 Grass Requirement 3143 Water Requirement 786 Manure Requirement 2514 Shearing Waste 1.55 Value Used for Sensitivity Analysis 6 166.7 27.8 0.036 0.117 166.7 25.56 2.73 0.11 13.34 0.52 6.52 400 61.33 0.05 0.07 0.277 0.587 6.59 102 0.0645 1000 60.73 7.47 0.4 0.08 0.52 1.32 8.56 1.5 16.47 72.9 0.006 5 1.25 19.373 3.2 6 5893 1473 4714 2.91 Unit lb./chair lb./hr chairs/hr hr/chair kWh/chair lb./hr chairs/hr kW kWh/chair lb./hr lb./chair lb./chair lb./hr chairs/hr kWh lb./chair kWh/chair lb./chair lb./chair gal/chair lb./chair lb./hr chairs/hr kWh/chair -­‐ -­‐ -­‐ lb./chair lb./chair days lb./chair chairs/re-­‐bale hrs/chair lbs./day gal/day lb. fleece/chair lb./shear lb./chair gal/chair lb./chair lb./chair 28 TM
Table 12. Fyrol A710 Inventory TM
Chemical Components of Fyrol A710 Lower Bound Value Used for Baseline Value Analysis 0.0588 0.0588 0.024 0.024 0.0231 0.0231 0.013 0.013 0.0079 0.0079 0.0045 0.0045 0.0028 0.0028 0.00973 0.00973 Materials Weight of Fyrol in 1 Chair Weight of Triphenyl Phosphate TM
(40% of oFf yrol
Composition) Weight Phenol Weight of Phosphoryl Chloride Weight of HCl by-­‐product Weight of Sludge Weight of Liquid Phosphorus Weight of Chlorine Vapor Weight of Proprietary Phosphate TM
Ester (60% of Fyrol Composition) Weight of Isobutylene Weight of Phenol Weight of Phosphoryl Chloride Weight of HCl by-­‐product Weight of Sludge SimaPro Modeling Total Weight of Phenol Total Weight of Phosphoryl Chloride Total Weight of Isobutylene Total Waste Materials Produced Total Weight of HCl by-­‐product Total Weight of Waste, sludge Upper Bound Value 0.3531 0.141 0.1388 0.075 0.0474 0.0270 0.0170 0.05838 kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg Unit 0.03531 0.03531 0.21185 kg 0.00549 0.02938 0.01676 0.01045 0.00646 0.00549 0.02938 0.01676 0.01045 0.00646 0.03294 0.17626 0.10058 0.06271 0.03877 kg kg kg kg kg kg kg kg 0.0525 0.029 0.0055 0.0183 0.0110 0.0525 0.029 0.005 0.0183 0.0110 0.3151 0.176 0.033 0.1101 0.0658 kg kg TM
Table 13. Fyrol A710 Energy Inputs TM
Fyrol A710 Energy Consumption TM
Energy Consumed (per 1000 kg Fyrol A710) Natural Gas (cu. ft) Steam (lb.) Electricity (kWh) 1980 1049 61 TM
Energy Consumed (per 0.0588 kg Fyrol A710) Natural Gas (cu. ft) Steam (lb.) Electricity (kWh) 0.1188 0.0629 0.0037 TM
Energy Consumed (per 0.3531 kg Fyrol A710) Natural Gas (cu. ft) Steam (lb.) Electricity (kWh) 0.6991 0.3704 0.0217 Transport From Shearing Baling Scouring Table 14. EcoWool Transportation Inputs Number of "Wool Mode of Transport Fuel Type Miles Traveled Barriers" per Trip Trailer Truck Diesel 266 2045 Trailer Truck Diesel 1822 5114 Trailer Truck Diesel 1822 6834 Ton-­‐miles Uncertainty 2.93 8.02 6.00 Very little None None 29 Carding Chair Manufacturer Trailer Truck Trailer Truck Diesel Diesel 640 1057 5000 24 2.88 990.94 None Miles traveled TM
Table 15. Fyrol A710 Transportation Inputs Number of "Retarded Transport From Mode of Transport Fuel Type Miles Traveled Cushions" per Trip Phosphate Mine Barge -­‐ 6074 223,078 Salt Mine Barge -­‐ 6074 28,349,631 Chemical Manufacturer Truck Deisel 938 222,582 Foam Manufacturer Truck Deisel 1015 1795 Chair Manufacturer Truck Deisel 1300 24 Ton-­‐miles Uncertainty 40.00 0.32 0.0619 1.35 1218.75 Little Little Mode of Transport None Miles Traveled Process ContribuQon to Carcinogenic Impact of FyrolTM A710 Raw Material Extracqon 0.008% Isobutylene Producqon 6.318% Transportaqon 0.037% Phosphoryl Chloride Producqon 33.319% Phenol Producqon 60.318% TM
Figure 11. Fyrol A710 Carcinogenic Process Contribution Process ContribuQon to Carcinogenic Impact of EcoWool Scouring & Carding 1.5% Transportaqon 0.6% Baling 20.6% Rearing & Shearing 77.2% Figure 12. EcoWool Carcinogenic Process Contribution 30 Process ContribuQon to EutrophicaQon Impact of EcoWool Baling 1.2% Scouring & Carding 0.2% Transportaqon 26.2% Rearing & Shearing 72.4% Figure 13. EcoWool Eutrophication Process Contribution Process ContribuQon to Solid Waste Impact of EcoWool Scouring & Carding 35% Baling 0% Transportaqon 29% Rearing & Shearing 36% Figure 14. EcoWool Solid Waste Process Contribution 31 Process ContribuQon to Energy Resources Impact of FyrolTM A710 Isobutylene Producqon 4.5% Transportaqon 28.8% Phenol Producqon 43.0% Phosphoryl Chloride Producqon 23.7% TM
Figure 15. Fyrol A710 Energy Resources Process Contribution Environmental Effect Greenhouse Ozone layer Acidification Eutrophication Summer smog Winter smog Pesticides Airborne heavy metals Waterborne heavy metals Carcinogenic substances Table 16. Eco-­‐Indicator 95 Weighting Factors Weighting Factors for Environmental Effects Weighting Factor Criterion 2.5 0.1°C rise every 10 years, 5% ecosystem degradation 100 Probability of 1 fatality per year per million inhabitants 10 5% ecosystem degradation Rivers and lakes, degradation of a unknown number of 5 aquatic ecosystems (5% degradation) Occurrence of smog periods, health complaints, particularly 2.5 amongst asthma patients and the elderly, prevention of agricultural damage Occurrence of smog periods, health complaints, particularly 5 amongst asthma patients and the elderly 25 5% ecosystem degradation Lead content in children's blood, reduced life expectancy and 5 learning performance in an unknown number of people Cadmium content in rivers, ultimately also impacts on people 5 (see airborne) 10 Probability of 1 fatality per year per million people 32 Process ContribuQon to AcidificaQon Impact or FyrolTM A710 Transportaqon 40.181% Chemical Producqon 59.814% Raw Material Extracqon 0.005% TM
Figure 16. Fyrol A710 Acidification Process Contribution Process ContribuQon to AcidificaQon Impact of EcoWool Baling 1.9% Scouring & Carding 0.6% Rearing & Shearing 51.2% Transportaqon 46.3% Figure 17. EcoWool Acidification Process Contribution Table 17. User Costs for EcoWool EcoWool User Costs Price Cisco Brothers Pays for Wool Retail Price of Wool Retail Price of Entire Chair Landfill Disposal Cost of Wool Total User Costs = Retail Price + Disposal Cost $45.00 $180.00 $745.00 $4.83 $184.83 33 TM
Table 18. User Costs for Fyrol A710 TM
Fyrol A710 User Costs TM
Price Ethan Allen Pays for Fyrol A710 TM
Retail Price of Fyrol A710 Retail Price of Entire Chair TM
Landfill Disposal Cost of Fyrol A710 Total User Costs = Retail Price + Disposal Cost Pollutant CO2 CO CH4 NOX PM10 SOX $0.30 $1.21 $689.00 $0.04 $1.25 Table 19. Environmental Costs for EcoWool EcoWool Environmental Costs Damage Cost ($/ton) Amount (kg) Amount (ton) Damage Cost ($) 6.22 200.6400 0.2212 1.38 0.99 1.1422 0.0013 0.0012 129 1.1909 0.0013 0.17 54 1.1700 0.0013 0.07 2297 0.1300 0.0001 0.33 73.5 0.2690 0.0003 0.02 Total Environmental Cost = $1.97 TM
Pollutant CO2 CO CH4 NOX PM10 SOX Table 20. Environmental Costs for Fyrol A710 TM
Fyrol A710 Environmental Costs Damage Cost ($/ton) Amount (kg) Amount (ton) Damage Cost ($) 6.22 382.6100 0.4218 2.62 0.99 2.9630 0.0033 0.0032 129 0.5655 0.0006 0.08 54 1.7300 0.0019 0.10 2297 0.1550 0.0002 0.39 73.5 2.5300 0.0028 0.20 Total Environmental Cost = $3.41 34 Figure 18. EcoWool SimaPro Network Diagram (4% Contribution Cut-­‐off) 35 TM
Figure 19. Fyrol A710 SimaPro Network Diagram (15% Contribution Cut-­‐off) 36 VII. Bibliography
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