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EU: Further reductions in POPS

EU: Further reductions in POPS

June 21, 2022

The EU Council and Parliament have agreed reductions of persistent organic pollutants in waste.

The EU Council and Parliament reached a provisional deal to further restrict the presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in waste.

POPs are generally no longer used in new products, but can still be found in waste coming from some consumer products such electronic equipment that will be increasingly used as a secondary raw material in the circular economy.

In 2018 tests run by ETIRA on a selection of new-build non-OEM cartridges, revealed the prohibited and hazardous substance decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE), a halogenated flame retardant in the tested cartridges.

DecaBDE has been prohibited in the EU since 2008 in electronics above certain levels, and fully prohibited in many other products.

Limiting the presence of POPs in waste is crucial and the EU Council and Parliament have agreed a proposed regulation that aims to bring the EU’s legislation into line with its international commitments, particularly under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

To achieve this, it will add some substances to annex IV of the POPs regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants) and update the concentration limit values for some substances in annexes IV and V of that regulation. The proposal concerns mainly the following substances:

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) – flame retardants found in plastics and textiles used in electrical and electronic equipment, vehicles and furniture;

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts and related compounds – found in waterproof textiles and fire-fighting foams

Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) – flame retardant found in some plastic and textile waste, particularly in polystyrene insulation from demolition of buildings;

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) – flame retardants found in some rubber and plastic waste, such as rubber conveyor belts, hoses, cables and seals;

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) – these substances are not produced or added to materials intentionally but are present as impurities in certain ashes and in other industrial waste;

Dioxin-like PCBs – similar to dioxins, these PCBs can be present as impurities in some ashes and industrial oils. Limits for these specific PCBs are proposed, together with those for dioxins.

The provisional agreement will go forward for endorsement by the Committee of permanent representatives and then a formal adoption procedure will then be launched.

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : Cartridges Chemicals DecaBDE EU POPs

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