EU Council Backs Lower POPs Limit on DecaBDE Flame Retardants

On November 28, 2018, the European Council has approved the recast of the Regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which was adopted by the European Parliament earlier this month. The Council has also endorsed a 500 ppm limit for the cumulative sum of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and a 10,000 ppm limit for short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) in products.

The 500 ppm limit for PBDEs is lower than in the original proposal (1000 ppm) but higher than the 50 ppm value campaigned for by several non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The NGO European Environmental Bureau (EEB) commented that this value “is an improvement” compared to the initial proposal, but still “not sufficient to protect people’s health and the environment.”

The 10,000 ppm limit set for SCCPs is much higher than the 100 ppm limit proposed by the NGOs. Karolina Brabcova, consumer campaigns coordinator at the NGO Arnika, called it “outrageously high.” She informed that “campaign efforts on this issue will continue with some member states keen to revisit the values.”