The Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) has submitted a proposal to the European Commission to restrict medium-chained chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs) in electrical and electronic equipment. The agency proposes to ban concentrations over 0,1% of MCCPs as it is concerned over possible environmental effects.
“We are worried about the effect medium-chained chlorinated paraffins have on the environment. These substances are classified as very toxic for aquatic organisms, both acutely and chronically”, says Johanna Löfbom, investigator at KemI, in a press release.
These MCCPs are used mainly as flame retardants and plasticisers in PVC sheathed cables and wires in electrical and electronic equipment, such as cables for television sets and household appliances.
The agency states that some of these chemicals may also meet the criteria for persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) substances, making them even more hazardous.
ChemSec welcomes the initiative
This proposal means that Sweden is the first member state to propose the restriction of a substance under the EU’s directive RoHS.
“Suggesting new substances to be added to the RoHS directive is a very efficient way to reduce hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment and, therefore, we are very glad to see that Sweden is now proposing to add MCCPs”, says Frida Hök, Senior Policy Advisor at ChemSec.
In addition to MCCPs, ChemSec would also like to see all chlorinated and brominated substances restricted since these chemicals create major problems in the waste phase of electrical and electronic products.
“Many companies have already stopped using chlorinated and brominated substances in their products, so now it’s really time for the legislation to follow”, Frida Hök concludes.