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RoHS | January 23, 2006

Denmark sues EU commission<br>for approving deca-BDE

The Danish government is planning to bring the European Commission into justice for approving the use of the flame retardant deca-BDE, and the EU parliament supports.
The flame retardant deca-BDE was supposed to be banned by July 1, lying under the RoHS directive. But the European Commission decided to exempt deca-BDE from the RoHS directive and this has irritated the Danish environmental minister Connie Hedegaard. The Danish government asked the Commission if they had any proof that there are no alternatives to deca-BDE to use instead. The Commission couldn't provide any proof of that but decided to exempt deca-BDE anyway.

Research reports have shown that brominated flame retardands could cause birth defects and cancer.

"It's unacceptable that the Commission will exempt deca-BDE from the general ban when there are alternatives to do it", Connie Hedegaard told ens.com.

"It's unfortunate that we will be taking the matter to court, but it has proven to be the only solution", she adds. Connie Hedegaard also urges other member states to support Denmark in this issue.

The European Parliament also stands behind this action.

"I am glad to see that the European Parliament will not tolerate that the Commission abuses its powers to lift the ban of a highly problematic substance that Parliament and Council adopted three years ago. Parliament as co-legislator could close down if the Commission were allowed to completely overturn decisions by the legislator via backdoor procedures. I call on manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment to play it safe and to stop using Deca-BDE", Carl Schlyter, Swedish Member of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, told elfnet.

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