The brominated flame retardant (BFR) Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) has been used for decades and has turned out to be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT). It has been detected in humans, the environment and wildlife worldwide, including in remote areas. It has been on the REACH candidate list for 6 years and governments around the world have listed it for global phase-out under the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants.
HBCDD will be banned for use in Europe as from 21.08.2015 unless an ‘authorisation’ is granted for a specific use. Earlier this year, an industry consortium of manufacturers of expanded polystyrene applied for authorisation to the EU Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to obtain permission for the continued use of HBCDD as a flame retardant in insulation building material in the EU.
CHEM Trust has submitted comments to the public consultation of the EU Chemicals Agency (ECHA) arguing that this application for authorisation should be denied. REACH makes it clear that releases of HBCDD need to be avoided unless these result from a use which is crucial for society. In CHEM Trust’s view the applicant has not made a convincing case that the socio-economic benefits would outweigh the risks, and that no safer alternatives are available.