The EU has initiated a four-week consultation over its draft regulation to revise the specifications for HBCDD under the POP Recast Regulation. Comments are being accepted until December 26, 2023.
Since the publication of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants (the POP Recast Regulation), the European Union (EU) has amended Part A to Annex I on several occasions (consolidated version to August 2023). Among the changes are the inclusion of perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related compounds, and new limits for hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and pentachlorophenol (PCP), its salts and esters.
In November 2023, the European Commission website announced a consultation on a draft regulation to strengthen the limit value for hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) as an unintentional trace contaminant (UTC) in substances, mixtures, articles or as a constituent of flame-retarded articles.
HBCDD has been an important additive brominated flame retardant (BFR) in expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation materials. It has also been used in textiles, packaging materials (EPS) and high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) for electrical and electronic applications.
In the latest review, there are concerns on the (undesirable) presence of restricted BFR in consumer products such as children’s toys, food contact materials and articles and polystyrene packaging due to new applications of recycled polymeric materials that had been flame retarded.
Highlights of the draft regulation are summarized in Table 1.
|Draft Regulation to amend Point 1 under Part A to Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021
|Point 1 under Part A to Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021
|HBCDD and its main diastereoisomers:
|HBCDD and its main diastereoisomers:
|Specific exemption on intermediate use or other specification as UTC
|≤ 75 mg/kg in substances, mixtures, articles or as constituents of the flame-retarded articles
≤ 100 mg/kg for recycled polystyrene in the manufacture of EPS and XPS insulation materials for use in buildings or civil engineering works
(the above values will be reviewed by January 1, 2026)
|≤ 100 mg/kg in substances, mixtures, articles or as constituents of the flame-retarded articles
|20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the EU
(planned for adoption in Q1 of 2024)
Comments will be accepted until December 26, 2023.
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