The plastics and electronics industry should be alerted to signals from the Swedish Government as restrictions of some flame retardant substances could force them into risking the fire safety of their products or into the use of less tested alternative substances. The flame retardant Deca-BDE could be banned in Sweden as early as June.
Flame retardants are substances required to be applied to a wide range of materials in order to meet Sweden’s fire safety standards (e.g. for cinemas, hospitals or other public buildings). Deca-BDE is used in applications such as plugs, cables, TV sets, carpets and furniture in public buildings or for insulation for the chemicals industry or other industry producing explosive goods.
DecaBDE has gone through a lengthy evaluation process at EU level lasting 12 years in which Sweden was involved. As a result of this evaluation, the EU authorities agreed that no restrictions on the use of this flame retardant would be necessary. Sweden obviously ignores and goes against this decision by proposing a ban. Both the European Commission and several other EU Member States have opposed the Swedish Government’s actions regarding their violation of the fundamental principles of the free movement of goods within the EU internal market. Such a ban will serve as a dangerous precedent for other substances, such as TBBPA, the flame retardant used in FR4-boards, for which restrictions have been announced for the Autumn.
Click on the above link for more information.