Consultation document on proposed risk management for products containing PBDEs: annex A


1. Regulations Affecting Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) Products Containing PBDEs

1.1 Europe

  • The European Union Restriction on the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (EU RoHS) in EEE restricts the content of all PBDEs in products to no greater than 0.1% by weight at the homogeneous levelFootnote 14 of a product.
  • The European Union Waste and Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive requires product manufactures to reuse, recycle and recover EEE waste, and that plastics containing brominated flame retardants (including PBDEs) be removed from the EEE waste and properly disposed of.
  • The European Union Directive 2003/11/EC prohibits the use of the PentaBDE and OctaBDE commercial mixtures in all manufactured or imported products at concentrations greater than 0.1% by weight.
  • Norway has enacted regulations that restrict the use of the DecaBDEcommercial mixture in all manufactured products (excluding transportation applications) at concentrations greater than 0.1% by weight.

1.2 United States

  • Restrictions have been introduced in many U.S. states, mainly prohibiting the manufacture and sale of products containing more than 0.1% by weight of the PentaBDE and OctaBDE commercial mixtures. Several states are also proposing the restricted use of the DecaBDE commercial mixture.
  • Four states have signed into legislation the prohibition of DecaBDE in EEE applications.
  • The U.S. EPA's action plan for PBDEsFootnote 15 calls for the following:
    • Support for the phase-out of the DecaBDE commercial mixtures. The U.S. EPA has received commitments from the principal manufacturers and importers for all sales of DecaBDE commercial mixtures to cease by December 31, 2013.
    • Initiate rulemaking under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) §5(b)(4) Concern List on PBDEs.
    • Initiate action to include articles in current Penta/OctaBDE significant new use rule (SNUR), which requires new chemical notices for new uses or imports.
      • The proposed PBDE SNUR was published on April 2, 2012.
    • Initiate rulemaking to simultaneously propose a SNUR and the previously announced TSCA §4 test rule for DecaBDE. The significant new use would be manufacture (including import) of DecaBDE or articles to which DecaBDE has been added. The test rule would require laboratory studies to determine the effects that decaBDE has on human health and the environment.
      • The proposed PBDE SNUR and test rule were published on April 2, 2012.

1.3 Asia

  • China has implemented a staged approach that initially required labelling and disclosure of PBDE content in EEE products followed by product-specific restrictions.
  • Japan implemented the Law for the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources, which requires the labelling of select EEE and white goods for the presence of substances covered under the EU’s RoHS Directive.
  • Korea implemented a law that includes exemptions, limit values and substance restrictions for electronic products and vehicles.

2. Regulations Affecting Textiles and Related Products Containing PBDEs

  • Four U.S. states have taken measures to restrict the content of DecaBDE in textile applications.
  • The State of Washington has prohibited the manufacture, sale, offer for sale and distribution of mattresses containing DecaBDE.
  • The States of Maine and Vermont have prohibited the manufacture, sale, offer for sale and distribution of mattresses, mattress pads and upholstered furniture intended for residential use that contain DecaBDE.
  • The State of Oregon has prohibited the introduction into commerce of any product, excluding transport applications, that contain more than 0.1% by weight of DecaBDE.
  • Norway has a broad restriction on products containing DecaBDE, which includes textiles and related products.

3. Regulations Affecting Transportation Vehicles/Products Containing PBDEs

  • The use of PentaBDE and OctaBDE have been prohibited in all products by the majority of the international community (see section 5).
  • No jurisdictions currently restrict the use of DecaBDE in any transportation application.
  • The U.S. EPA and the EU under REACH are currently considering additional controls on DecaBDE which may include products in the transportation sector.

4. Regulations Affecting Building/Construction/Industrial Products Containing PBDEs

  • The use of PentaBDE and OctaBDE has been prohibited in all products by the majority of the international community (see Section 5).
  • No jurisdictions (with the exception of Norway) restrict the use of DecaBDE in applications related to this sector.
  • The U.S. EPA and the EU under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) are considering additional controls on DecaBDE, which may include products in the transportation sector.

5. International Agreements

PBDEs are prohibited under two international agreements: the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and the Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. In 2009, tetraBDE, pentaBDE, hexaBDE and heptaBDE (components that make up the PentaBDE and OctaBDE commercial mixtures) were added to Annex A of the Stockholm Convention and Annex 1 of the Protocol on POPs. For the Stockholm Convention, this resulted in a prohibition on the production, use, import and export of these substances, with specific exemptions for recycling of articles until 2030 (at the latest). Canada ratified these amendments in 2011 through, among other things, the Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers Regulations published in 2008. Under the 2009 amendments to those regulations, exports of articles containing levels or concentrations of the listed PBDEs above domestically regulated levels or concentrations are not allowed.

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