The ESR and Deca-BDE

Deca-BDE has been subject to Risk Assessment under the ESR. In May 2004 the European Union Competent Authorities closed the official risk assessment without recommendation for restrictions thanks to the lack of significant risks identified for the use of this substance. On 28 May 2008, the conclusions of the EU risk assessment for Deca-BDE were published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Deca-BDE is approved for use without restriction in the EU.

The Risk Assessment on includes a section on end-of-life, considering the various disposal and recovery options including recycling, recovery and landfill, and incineration, with no significant risks identified.

EBFRIP welcomes the publication of this Risk Assessment because, despite a long and thorough process, reviewing a very large number of studies, the Member States’ technical experts, led by France and the UK, did not find any risk which needed to be addressed. For this reason, the experts did not recommend any measures to reduce risk, beyond those already being applied by the industry. Some further studies were recommended, which industry is in the process of carrying out. These studies are required by the regulatory process in order to gain further scientific knowledge, and do not imply that there are risks.

The ESR Risk Assessment provoked the development of one of the most extensive scientific datasets in existence on a substance, comprising over 1,000 scientific studies, mainly carried out in the European Union, Japan and the United States. These results have been also confirmed by an initial risk assessment conducted by the Japanese government in 2005, which concluded that no adverse health effects were identified for Deca-BDE. In the United States, Deca-BDE has been also subject to extensive research, in particular by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and in the framework of the Voluntary Children’s Chemical Evaluation Program (VCCEP), which has reached similar conclusions.

More information on the studies performed during the Deca-BDE Risk Assessment can be found on the website of BSEF.