Hazardous Substances – Brominated flame retardant Deca-BDE

The European Parliament is to take the European Commission to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in order to challenge the decision of the Commission to lift the ban on the use of brominated flame retardant Deca-BDE in electrical and electronic equipment. The ban had been adopted by Parliament and Council in January 2003 through introduction of Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (the RoHS Directive) and would have been effective as of 1 July 2006. However, the ban was lifted by the Commission on 13 October 2005. While the Directive allows the Commission to exempt certain applications from the ban, this is only where there are no viable safer alternatives for these applications. In bringing the case before the ECJ the Parliament is claiming that the Commission has not taken into consideration the safer alternatives that are available and in this case already on the European market and that the Commission has acted illegally in basing its decision on a UK Deca risk assessment. Denmark is also to take the Commission to Court over its decision to exempt Deca-BDE on the basis that alternatives to Deca-BDE exist.




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