Electronics Production | June 01, 2010
TBBPA ban proposal dropped; IPC continues to lobby for scientific basis in directive
Efforts by IPC to bring sound scientific analysis to the RoHS Directive were rewarded when RoHS Rapporteur and Green Party member Jill Evans announced plans to drop amendments calling for a ban of all brominated flame retardants (BFRs), including those, such as tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA), that have been found safe under European Union risk assessment.
In direct lobbying efforts over the past year, IPC has urged the European Union to amend the RoHS Directive to introduce rigorous scientific methodology to evaluate additional restricted substances and their alternatives. Recently, IPC wrote to key European Parliament Environmental Committee leaders to support the adoption of RoHS Directive proposed amendments 197 through 203, which would promote the introduction of scientific methodology in alignment with the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation. I PC remains concerned about Amendment 3a in the Final packages of compromise/consolidated amendments on RoHS. Under the section, "Consolidated package III on methodology for future restrictions," Amendment 3a proposes a process that "lacks a rigorous scientific methodology and could therefore lead to additional substance restrictions that provide neither environmental nor human health benefits," says Fern Abrams, IPC director of environmental policy and government relations. IPC also opposes "Consolidated package IV on Annex III," which calls for a priority assessment of the flame retardant TBBPA. While some BFRs, such as polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), have been identified as toxic, restricted under the RoHS Directive and voluntarily withdrawn from the market, other BFRs, such as TBBPA, have been found to be safe for human health and the environment by both the World Health Organization and the European Commission Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER).
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