The European Commission visits the LIFE-FLAREX project in Terrassa

Submitted by Ariadna Detrell on 25 February 2020

On February 24th, the European Commission visited the LIFE-FLAREX project during its last monitoring visit along with the IDOM-NEEMO monitoring team. AEI Tèxtils, as project coordinator, welcomed Mr. Manuel Montero, project adviser at EASME – the Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises from the European Commission, and Ms. Mariona Salvatella from IDOM-NEEMO, the monitoring team subcontracted by the EC.

The visit started with a tour at E.CIMA industrial facilities, one of the two Catalan companies that participated in the industrial demonstration tests of the project earlier this year. The other Catalan company, and also AEIT Tèxtils’ member, is BONDITEX.

The tour in E.CIMA started with a presentation about the company by Jordi Mota, R&D manager, followed by a discussion of the implications of the project results for the company to drive chemical substitution for flame retardants towards safer and environmentally friendlier alternatives. After the discussion, Jordi Mota offered a quick tour to the finishing facilities where the tests were conducted.

Afterwards, the European Commission team transferred to LEITAT Technological Center facilities in Terrassa to meet the rest of the consortium and have an update on the different ongoing activities since the start of the project.

During the meeting, each partner presented the status of the actions they are leading as well as the planning for the latest stages of the project that will be completed by the end of June 2020.

The consortium reviewed in depth the progress of all the actions of the project.  Several points were treated with utmost detail; particularly, the ongoing industrial trials where the consortium are gathering the data for the Life Cycle Assessment and the Risk Assessment that will be used to assess the human and environmental risks and impact of the Flame Retardant products. The partnership also reviewed the progress on the skin penetration of the different products in order to assess the toxicological potential.

Thus far, the consortium has conducted industrial tests in Catalonia at Bonditex and E.CIMA, Italy, at TF2000 and Fini-stampa Giordanetto, and at Czech Republic, both at Inotex and Tylex Letovice. In the coming weeks, the partnership will conduct the last industrial trials at Pertex in Spain to complete the different assessments.

Other important aspect discussed during the meeting was the strategic plan for promoting substitution towards safer chemicals in the textile finishing process. All partners share a common vision and strategy to involve the different regions of the project and to seek regional synergies with ongoing programs and authorities. It is important to highlight best practices and experiences that companies can relate to in order to make an effective communication that can engage other companies to follow and lead.

During the lasts stages of LIFE-FLAREX, the consortium will prepare several communication materials including the Layman’s report and a FR Green Procurement Guide to communicate to companies and to the public the different results of the project.

Next public events of the project are the organization of a regional workshop in Catalonia on April 3rd in Barcelona and the project final event scheduled on June 17th in Alcoy.

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