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This type of brominated flame retardant will be included in the REACH Restricted Candidate List!


Time:

2023-03-20

The European Chemical Administration (ECHA) has issued a regulatory strategy for flame retardants, identifying aromatic brominated flame retardants as a restricted candidate list within the EU.

On March 15, 2023, ECHA issued a regulatory plan for brominated flame retardants, identifying brominated aromatic flame retardants as restricted candidates within the EU. (Brominated aromatic flame retardants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are typically persistent in the environment. Many compounds, such as decabromodiphenyl ether, accumulate in humans and animals and are also suspected or known to be toxic.) This initiative will reduce the impact of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic substances on humans and the environment.


Before developing a potential draft, some preparatory work needs to be done, including evaluating the waste disposal phase, identifying whether hazardous substances are released during the disassembly, recycling, or disposal of flame retardant containing products, and reviewing the availability of suitable substitutes or materials.

 

The scope of limitation covers all brominated aromatic flame retardants that have been uniformly classified or identified as PBT (persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic) or vPvB (persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic), SVHCs (substances of high concern).


01. The universally applicable restrictions on aromatic brominated flame retardants in the plan focus:

 

The core substance may include two brominated phthalates and one brominated biphenyl.
Decabromodiphenyl ethane (EC 284-366-9, DBDPE) is an additive flame retardant widely sold in the EU to replace the very similar molecule of decabromodiphenyl ether (DBDPE). The assessment of the bioaccumulation of substances is ongoing, and conclusions may be reached in 2023;

 

Brominated phthalates (EC 247-426-5 produced and/or imported in the European Economic Area, 100-1000 tons per year, 428-050-2 registration is no longer valid), and data generation is ongoing;
Data generation for tetrabromobisphenol A derivatives is still ongoing (it is expected that the substance evaluation conclusions will be drawn in early 2026), and if it is concluded that tetrabromobisphenol A has PBT/vPvB characteristics, it will also be limited.

 

Compared to aromatic brominated flame retardants, aliphatic brominated flame retardants and organophosphorus flame retardants appear to pose more diverse hazards to human and environmental health. For the two active aliphatic brominated flame retardants (BMP and TBNPA), it is already possible to consider limitations for professional use. It should be noted that for several groups of organophosphorus flame retardants, current information indicates that their harm is low or unlikely, and therefore no further regulatory action is currently required.

 

02. Two active aliphatic brominated flame retardants (BMP and TBNPA) in the plan

 

Limitations on the two active alcohols (BMP and TBNPA) can be based on their carcinogenicity. They are used in PU foam and unsaturated polyester resin. This concern may be more related to the potential exposure of construction chemicals to unreacted substances.


For brominated alkyl phosphate esters (EC413-060-1), once the CMR characteristics are confirmed, the next step may be to implement a unified classification label (CLH) and limit the service life of the item.


Further data on the potential hazard characteristics of aliphatic brominated flame retardants and organophosphorus flame retardants is expected to be submitted from 2024, so it is not expected that any potential limiting procedures will be initiated until 2025. ECHA recommends reassessing the status of these categories of flame retardants in 2025. The schedule of regulatory actions is shown below:

Because no harm has been identified or the harm is relatively low, it is not recommended to take regulatory measures on several non halogenated flame retardants, including some organophosphorus based flame retardants. Chlorinated flame retardants have a relatively small market share and either have been adequately regulated or regulatory actions have been initiated. Based on this, no further action has been determined for this group of flame retardants.

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