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EU approves flame retardant TBBPA

Posted: 06 Mar 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TBBPA; flame retardant 

Veronique Steukers, EBFRIP Chair, has welcomed the forthcoming publication of the conclusions of the TBBPA Risk Assessment in the EU Official Journal. This will enable a smooth transition of the brominated flame retardant TBBPA through the REACH registration procedure, as the science needed to register TBBPA has now been completed in the context of the Risk Assessment.

Dr Steukers said: "TBBPA has undergone an 8-year EU Risk Assessment to evaluate its effects on human health and the environment. The Risk Assessment, and the subsequent Risk Reduction Strategy, did not foresee any legislative restriction for TBBPA. TBBPA is therefore approved for use by the EU for all its applications".

EU Member State experts have concluded that TBBPA presents no risk to human health. They also agreed that there is no risk to the environment when TBBPA is used as a reactive component such as in printed circuits boards. Dr Steukers explained that: "Tetrabromobisphenol- A (TBBPA)1 is the largest volume brominated flame retardant in use today to improve the fire safety of printed circuit boards and plastics in electrical and electronic equipment3. TBBPA is used in more than 70% of the world's E&E appliances".

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For the additive use of TBBPA in E&E plastics casings, an environmental risk was identified in one production plant in Europe only. No risk was identified for the other production plants or in end use articles. To address this risk the EU has approved a Risk Reduction Strategy and, after reviewing all possible measures it has recommended a proportionate measure requesting an environmental permit to control and reduce emissions (Integrated Pollution Prevention Control - IPPC).

In addition, Dr Steukers confirmed that: "TBBPA is not restricted by the RoHS Directive. Based on the results of the risk assessment, there is no basis for including TBBPA in the upcoming revision of this Directive. In the frame of TBBPA risk reduction strategy, EU Member States reviewed a series of EU legislation including the RoHS Directive and did not withheld it as an appropriate measure to control the local risks identified".

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