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22 March 2002


MEPs support EU Commission proposal to phase-out the Flame Retardant penta-BDE and exempt deca-BDE due to its importance for fire safety

The European Parliament Environment Committee voted yesterday in second reading on the EU proposal to ban the flame retardant penta-BDE.

Outlining the importance of the flame retardant deca-BDE in terms of saving lives, MEPs supported an amendment requiring that a phase-out of deca-BDE should be based on an EU scientific risk assessment. The risk assessment study for deca-BDE is soon to be completed.

The Chair of the European Parliament Environment Committee procedurally rejected amendments tabled by Green MEPs as there was no new scientific evidence that alternatives to PBDEs ensuring the same level of fire safety were available.

Whereas EBFRIP accepts the Commissionís proposal to phase-out the flame retardant penta-BDE since this follows conclusions to a EU scientific risk assessment, the industry regrets the Parliamentís proposal to extend the ban to octa-BDE without any reference to its emerging EU risk assessment.

The Parliament will vote in Plenary at the beginning of April and will send its report to the Council. The Directive proposal will most probably go into Conciliation as a large majority of Council Member States are expected to share the Commission point of view to limit a ban to the flame retardant penta-BDE.

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