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NGOs and academics call for RoHS methodology manual overhaul

A letter from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) with the support of more than 100 signatories has called on the EU Commissioner for Environment to revise the draft RoHS2 methodology manual, developed to look at the ways forward to select hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment for future restrictions.

The main concern voiced by the letter was the failure of the prioritisation scheme proposed for identifying potentially hazardous substances including brominated flame retardants (BFRs), chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) and PVC for a detailed assessment under the Directive on the restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment. The failure to properly identify and assess very significant substances for potential restrictions under RoHS is undermining the ability of the Directive to effectively protect health and the environment.

The letter also calls for the ability of substances to form transformation products, through incineration for example, to be one of the criteria for selecting chemicals to be evaluated for inclusion in annex II (the list of restricted substances), even if the substance itself is not classified as hazardous. EEB and the signatories ask for the methodology to better address the impacts of substances used in electrical and electronic equipment in “sub-standard recycling/recovery practices” both within the EU and also in other regions.

HEAL as well as many HEAL members are signatory to the letter.

The letter is available here

Originally posted on 7 October 2013

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