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Volume XIII, Number 156


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June 03, 2023

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ECHA Identifies Certain Brominated Flame Retardants as Candidates for Restriction

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced on March 15, 2023, that it released its Regulatory Strategy for Flame Retardants, identifying aromatic brominated flame retardants as candidates for a European Union (EU)-wide restriction. ECHA states that aromatic brominated flame retardants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are generally persistent in the environment, and that many, like decabromodiphenylether, are also known or suspected of being toxic and accumulating in people and animals. ECHA notes that their release could be minimized through an EU-wide restriction.

According to ECHA, before a potential restriction proposal, some preparatory work is required. ECHA states that this work could include an assessment of the waste stage to find out if hazardous substances are released when products containing flame retardants are dismantled, recycled, or disposed of. It could also include an assessment of the availability of suitable alternative substances or materials.

The restriction scope could cover all aromatic brominated flame retardants confirmed to be persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) through harmonized classification or identification as substances of very high concern (SVHC).

According to ECHA, for many aliphatic brominated and some organophosphorus-based flame retardants, more data are needed to determine if a restriction is necessary. ECHA states that it expects these data to be available from 2024 onward, and ECHA suggests reassessing the situation for those groups in 2025.

ECHA is not recommending regulatory action for several non-halogenated subgroups of flame retardants, including certain organophosphorus-based flame retardants, since it identified no or low hazard at this time. ECHA notes that for chlorinated flame retardants, regulatory measures are already in place or initiated.

©2023 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.National Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 87

About this Author

Lynn Bergeson, Campbell PC, Toxic Substances Control Act Attorney, federal insecticide lawyer, industrial biotechnology legal counsel, Food Drug Administration law
Managing Partner

Lynn L. Bergeson has earned an international reputation for her deep and expansive understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), and especially how these regulatory programs pertain to nanotechnology, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and other emerging transformative technologies. Her knowledge of and involvement in the policy process allows her to develop client-focused strategies whether...

Carla Hutto, Bergeson Campbell PC environmental law regulatory analyst,Toxic Substances Control Act law attorney
Regulatory Analyst

Since 1996, Carla Hutton has monitored, researched, and written about regulatory and legislative issues that may potentially affect Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) clients. She is responsible for creating a number of monthly and quarterly regulatory updates for B&C's clients, as well as other documents, such as chemical-specific global assessments of regulatory developments and trends. She authors memoranda for B&C clients on regulatory and legislative developments, providing information that is focused, timely and applicable to...