Jindrich Petrlik RNDr., Director of Arnika's Toxic and Waste Programme (as well as IPEN Regional Hub for Central and Eastern Europe and also host of IPEN's Dioxin, PCBs and Waste Working Group) was invited to present IPEN's views on toxic recycling at the recent World Recycling Convention in Prague, Czech Republic. The invitation was extended from the International Bureau of Recyclers, based on IPEN's side event at the last Stockholm Convention Conference of the Parties.
PFOA - the “Teflon chemical” - starts its journey to global elimination
(Rome, Italy) A UN expert committee recommended the global elimination of DecaBDE – a toxic flame retardant chemical widely used in electrical equipment and present in e-waste. In its recommendation for the Stockholm Convention, the Committee cited DecaBDE’s persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transport, and its toxic impacts. Governments around the world will decide on the recommendation in May 2017, but typically accept the recommendations of its expert committees.
The Committee decision recommends that governments consider granting specific exemptions for use of DecaBDE in some legacy spare parts in the automotive and aerospace industries. The Boeing Company and the Aerospace and Defence industries Association of Europe and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) pressured for these exemptions but when asked, could not specify which parts they claim need to be exempted.
In preparation for the 11th meeting of the Stockholm Convention's POPs Review Committee (POPRC), which will take place 19 – 23 October in Rome, IPEN has developed a Quick Guide to IPEN Views on POPRC11. This document highlights IPEN's views on issues that the Committee will tackle at the meeting, including whether DecaBDE (extensively used as an additive flame retardant), dicofol (a chemical that kills mites that is structurally similar to DDT), short-chained chlorinated paraffins (used in metalworking, flame retardants, paints, adhesives and sealants, plastics and rubber etc.), and PFOA (the “Teflon chemical”) should move forward in the Convention evaluation process, along with decisions regarding the unintentional production of hexachlorobutadiene and an update of a guidance document on PFOS alternatives.
Prague, 12 October 2015 — A new survey found toxic flame retardant chemicals from electronic waste are recycled into plastic children’s toys for sale in the European Union. Measurements of 21 toys purchased in six EU countries found that 43% of them contained significant levels of OctaBDE and/or DecaBDE. OctaBDE is listed in the Stockholm Convention for global elimination. DecaBDE is under evaluation by the Stockholm Convention expert committee which has concluded that “global action is warranted.” Both chemicals are ubiquitous in the environment globally and can disrupt human hormone systems, creating potential adverse effects on the development of the nervous system and children’s IQ.
A United Nations group will soon begin investigating whether to include a toxic chemical, linked to a contamination case involving the RAAF Base in Williamtown, on a global list potentially banning its use.