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Electronics Production | March 30, 2006

EU measures most important in reducing<br>risks of flame retardants in Sweden

The Swedish Government has commissioned the Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate (KemI) to investigate the possibility of a comprehensive ban on the flame retardants HBCDD and TBBPA and to assess the consequences such a ban would have. KemI presented its investigation to the Government on 15 March.
KemI considers that a comprehensive national ban would have severe adverse practical and economic consequences for society. A ban that does not make it possible to use TBBPA in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards for electronics would most probably result in the manufacturing and importing of most electronic products coming to a halt. All electronic products contain circuit boards. Nor would a ban covering this use of TBBPA lead to any known benefits to health and the environment.

KemI considers that Sweden should primarily await the outcome of the EU's risk management strategies for HBCDD and TBBPA. It will then be possible to make a more reliable assessment of the need for action at the national and EU levels. A risk assessment of HBCDD and TBBPA is currently being made under the EU programme for existing substances, with Sweden and the United Kingdom respectively as rapporteurs. It should be possible for the risk assessments to be completed in 2006.

The present-day level of use of HBCDD in Sweden is very low, less than 0.05 per cent of total EU use. It is primarily the use of HBCDD in other countries that is behind the supply of HBCDD to Sweden. Local emissions from industrial use of pure TBBPA and use of TBBPA as an additive in plastics are a minor environmental problem in Sweden in comparison with several other member states.

If the Swedish Government considers, when the EU risk management strategies have been completed, that there is a need for further measures in the form of a national ban, this should be formulated as a limited ban and enter into force in stages, not starting before mid-2007, in the opinion of KemI.

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October 15 2018 11:56 pm V11.6.0-2