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10 September 2001


MEPs support EU Commission proposal to phase-out the flame retardant penta-BDE but propose an extended ban to octa-BDE prior to EU risk assessment conclusions - EU Commissioner refuses any such extension


EBFRIP accepts the Commission’s proposal to phase-out the flame retardant penta-BDE since this follows conclusions to an EU scientific risk assessment. EBFRIP also acknowledges the amendment voted by the European Parliament limiting the content of penta-BDE in octa-BDE to 0.1% as this will be technically feasible in the future. The industry questions the Parliament’s proposals to extend the ban to two other flame retardants.

Recognising the importance of the flame retardant deca-BDE in terms of saving lives and preventing injuries from fire, Parliamentarians supported an amendment requiring that any future decision on whether to phase-out deca-BDE be based on an EU scientific risk assessment. The risk assessment study for deca-BDE is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

The industry regrets in particular MEPs’ decision to extend the ban to octa-BDE without any reference to its emerging EU risk assessment. EBFRIP would like to specify that, according to preliminary risk assessment conclusions, there is no urgent health or environmental risk related to octa-BDE and deca-BDE. Hence there is no scientific basis for a precautionary approach.

Consumer Affairs Commissioner David Byrne made it clear to the Parliament that the Commission would refuse any amendment extending a ban to octa-BDE and deca-BDE prior to the risk assessment conclusions, expected at the end of this year. The Commissioner specified that an extension of the ban to cover octa-BDE and deca-BDE would only depend on risk assessment findings and would not be considered unless these findings showed cause for concern.

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