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27 May 2002

 Norwegian agency policy statement to ban PBDEs requires stakeholder consultation and environmental and safety assessment

The European Brominated Flame Retardant Industry Panel (EBFRIP) regrets that the Norwegian pollution control agency (SFT) has announced, without consultation of the industries concerned, its intention to propose a ban of the three PBDE flame retardants.

In particular, the ban on deca-BDE will remove a substance which has been shown to be suited for plastics recycling, expose the consumer to less tested alternatives and will discourage the use of a product that save 1000s of lives. Unlike some EU countries, Norway's upholstered furniture does not need to meet strict fire safety requirements.  In the UK, where strict fire safety requirements exist, 3,240 lives have been saved since 1988. EBFRIP submits that such issues of environmental and safety concern, as well as the emerging EU risk assessments, need to be taken into account in any assessment of the need for risk reduction. 

EBFRIP welcomes the objective to reduce emissions of brominated flame retardants and is already working to achieve this. EBFRIP looks forward to working with the Norwegian SFT on such issues in the future.

Statement ends