According to an article in Electronics Weekly, the European Parliament has questioned the benefits of restricting further hazardous chemicals under the RoHS directive. An impact statement published by the Parliament suggests that the costs of banning PVC in electronic equipment “far outweighs the benefits” to human health. The statement also adds that the environmental benefits are unlikely to justify the costs.
The report goes on to say that restricting all halogenated flame retardants under RoHS would lead to “potentially large” health benefits but the environmental impact is hard to quantify. There has been a call for all halogenated flame retardants and PVC to be banned as part of the RoHS recast, but the report calls for a more detailed study stating that quantifying the health, economic and environmental impacts of such ban is difficult.
The report seems to reaffirm the European Commission’s position that there is insufficient information to justify new restrictions. However, the International Chemicals Secretariat believes that greater emphasis should be placed on the environmental benefits, also stating that brominated flame retardants and PVC transform into dioxins and furans at the end of life.
The Parliament’s environmental committee will vote on the proposal to revise RoHS on June 3.