The Swedish Chemicals Agency is proposing that the use of medium-chained chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs) in electrical and electronic equipment is restricted. MCCPs are classified as hazardous to the environment, and some appear to meet the criteria for persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) substances.
“We’re concerned about the environmental impact of medium-chained chlorinated paraffins. This group of substances is classified as very toxic to aquatic life, for both acute and chronic exposure. We’re now proposing that levels of these substances in electrical and electronic equipment above 0.1% are banned”, says Johanna Löfbom, Senior Technical Officer at the Swedish Chemicals Agency.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency has submitted a proposal to the European Commission for the inclusion of a restriction on MCCPs in the RoHS Directive, which aims to reduce the risks to human health and the environment by substituting and restricting hazardous chemicals in electrical and electronic equipment.
“This means that Sweden is the first member state to use the procedure for restricting new substances in the RoHS Directive”, says Johanna Löfbom.
MCCPs are used as plasticisers and flame retardants in electrical and electronic equipment, mainly in PVC cables. They can be found, for example, in network cables and cables for television sets and household appliances.
Emissions during the management of electronics waste containing MCCPs pose risks to the environment and human health. Some substances in the group also appear to meet the criteria for PBT substances, which are slow to degrade in nature, accumulate in living organisms, and have toxic effects.
Other substances with a better environmental and health profile are available as substitutes for MCCPs, but switching to these alternatives may result in higher costs. A socioeconomic assessment commissioned by the Swedish Chemicals Agency shows, however, that the extra costs from restricting MCCPs are relatively low, for both manufacturers and consumers.
For more information, please feel free to contact:
Johanna Löfbom, Senior Technical Officer, +46 8 519 41 371
Anne-Marie Vass, Senior Technical Officer, +46 8 519 41 377
The Swedish Chemicals Agency’s press service, +46 8 519 41 200, firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail addresses of the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s employees are written as follows: email@example.com