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One year after the last expansion of the list of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)  and the earlier inclusion of some polybrominated diphylethers (PBDE)  a first indication on a possible restriction of Bis(pentabromophenyl) ether (DecaBDE) under REACH Annex XVII or Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was published on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) website on August 1, 2013.

The group of polybrominated diphenylethers has a long history of restriction in the European Union including the POP (Regulation (EC) No. 850/2004 and amendments), REACH Annex XVII (Regulation (EC) No 552/2009) and RoHS (Directive 2011/65/EU). Whereas an earlier RoHS exemption of DecaBDE was annulled by the European Court of Justice, it was so far not included in the EU POPs or REACH Regulations like lower degrees of polybrominated diphenylethers (TetraBDE to HeptaBDE and OctaBDE).

DecaBDE is classified as a substance with persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic or very persistent and very, bioaccumulative (PBT/vPvB) properties. Norway has filed an official proposal in May 2013 to include DecaBDE in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The European Commission consequently asked ECHA to evaluate the substance and prepare a proposal in line with the proposal for a global restriction under the Stockholm Convention. Such a proposal shall cover mixtures and articles but include possible derogations if justified. The proposal is expected to be submitted on August 1, 2014.

Using the examples of current entries of OctaBDE under REACH Annex XVII (Entry 45) or current restriction limits for the TetraBDE to HeptaBDE in the EU POPs scope the following restriction scenarios may be applicable for DecaBDE:

Possible entry in EU POPs Regulation
Possible limit
Substances, preparations, articles or as constituents of the flame retarded parts of articles (but not for electrical and electronic equipment within the scope of RoHS)
? 0.001%
Articles and preparations produced partially or fully from recycled materials or materials from waste prepared for re-use
< 0.1%
Possible entry in REACH Annex XVII
Possible limit
Articles shall not be placed on the market if they, or flame-retardant parts thereof exceed (but not for electrical and electronic equipment within the scope of RoHS)
< 0.1%
Shall not be placed on the market, or used as a substance as a constituent of other substances exceeding or in mixtures exceeding
< 0.1%
Information Resource:ECHA WEBSITE

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