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Torex and the European DecaBDE Regulation

What is DecaBDE?

DecaBDE is a brominated flame retardant, used widely in electrical and electronic goods found in households and offices (especially in high impact polystyrene (HIPS) casings), in vehicles and in certain textiles and fabrics, especially in back-coatings. DecaBDE is known to be a very widespread environmental contaminant, which can accumulate in the bodies of animals such as fish, foxes, and birds and can even be found in humans. DecaBDE is a prominent contaminant in dusts collected from houses and offices, as a result of its widespread use in electronics and furnishings, and indoor sources are increasingly thought to make a substantial contribution to overall human exposure. What's more, DecaBDE can also de-brominate (undergo partial degradation) in the environment, forming other PBDEs which are potentially more toxic, persistent and bio-accumulative than DecaBDE itself.

Why is the use of DecaBDE now topical?

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive which came into force on 1 July 2006, required that new electrical equipment put on the market from that date did not contain any of six banned substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, poly-brominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) - which included DecaBDE - in quantities exceeding maximum concentration values.

At the time, the European Commission made the decision to exempt DecaBDE even though it was included as part of the banned substances listed under the RoHS directive. However, the EC were taken to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by the European Parliament over this decision and the EC's decision was finally overturned on April 1st 2008. It has been decided that, with effect from 1st July 2008, the use of DecaBDE will not be allowed anymore above the threshold of 1000ppm of the homogenous material for PBDE.

Do Torex use DecaBDE in their products?

Torex have already eliminated DecaBDE from their products so already conform to this new directive. Please refer to our company statement for details. Torex is 100% compliant with the DecaBDE regulation.