Flame retardants

The use of certain flame retardants that are particularly problematic for human beings and the environment is completely prohibited. For other flame retardants, specific restrictions apply, for example in the case of clothing textiles, and for this reason the regulations governing the use of flame retardants are laid down in different annexes of the Chemical Risk Reduction Ordinance.

Basic legal sources

1.     Main provisions and considerations

  • For the implementation of the resolution of the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), hexabromocyclodecane (HBCDD) and substances that contain HBCDD must not be manufactured, placed on the market and used. In addition, placing new articles on the market is prohibited if they or their components contain HBCDD. 
  • For the implementation of the resolution of the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 850/2004, the following polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and substances and preparations that contain the cited PBDEs, must not be manufactured, placed on the market and used if the PBDE content exceeds 0.001%:
     - Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (tetraBDE)
     - Pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE)
     - Hexabromodiphenyl ether (hexaBDE)
     - Heptabromodiphenyl ether (heptaBDE)
    It is also prohibited to place new products on the market if they or their components contain more than 0.001% of the cited PBDEs.
  • In line with the provisions in Annex XVII of the REACH Ordinance, octabromodiphenyl ethers (octaBDEs) and substances and preparations that contain octaBDEs must not be manufactured, placed on the market and used. It is also prohibited to place new products on the market if they or their components contain more than 0.1% of octaBDE.
  • For the implementation of the resolution of the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 850/2004, hexabromobiphenyl (HBB) and substances and preparations that contain HBB, must not be manufactured, placed on the market and used. It is also prohibited to bring new products onto the market if they contain HBB.
  • For PBDEs and HBB in the components of electrical and electronic equipment, the provisions of Annex 2.18 are applicable.
  • In line with the provisions in Annex XVII of the REACH Ordinance, textiles that may directly or indirectly come into contact with the skin must not be placed on the market if they contain tri(2,3-dibromopropyl-)phosphate or tri(aziridinal-)phosphine oxide.

 2.     Exemptions

The prohibitions do not apply:

  • For analysis and research purposes
  • For preparations and products partly or completely manufactured from recycled materials, or from materials derived from wastes pre-treated for recycling purposes, provided their content by weight of tetraBDE, pentaBDE, hexaBDE and heptaBDE does not exceed 0.1%
  • For insulation panels made of expanded and extruded polystyrene for use in buildings if they have been manufactured with sections of new insulating panels containing HBCDD, which accrue during processing, e.g., on construction sites. 

 3.     Transitional provisions

 The prohibitions do not apply until 1 March 2016 for:

  • Placing expandable polystyrene (EPS) pellets on the market for the manufacture of insulation panels for use on buildings.
  • Initial placement on the market of insulation panels made of expanded and extruded polystyrene for use on buildings.

Upon request, the FOEN may grant limited exemptions for the manufacture and placing on the market of insulation panels made of expanded polystyrene if the applicant is able to demonstrate that it is not possible to procure an alternative without HBCDD. Any such exemption may last no longer than until 1 March 2018. 

Further information

Documents

Verbaute Dämmungen EPS/XPS (PDF, 1 MB, 02.02.2015)Studie zu Hexabromcyclododecan-haltigen Dämmstoffen im Baubereich im Auftrag des BAFU

Contact
Last modification 15.03.2018

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