Precaution urged for brominated flame retardant

EU marketing and use restrictions recommended for octa-BDE; assessment of deca points to similar fate

An EU risk assessment of the flame retardant octa-bromodiphenyl ether (octa-BDE) has recommended marketing and use restrictions on precautionary grounds. The fear is that, while safe in itself, the substance may break down in the environment into a more harmful compound. An assessment of close relative deca-BDE has revealed similar concerns.

The findings will back up the European parliament's bid to extend EU restrictions already agreed for flame retardant penta-BDE to both octa and deca immediately, rather than waiting for European Commission proposals. The issue has now entered conciliation (EED 22/02/02).

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