Work in Parliament The use of toxic flame retardants and their effects on health, fire toxicity, the environment and the internal market - European Commission's answer

Questions to the Commission and the Council | 15-09-2020

Answer given by Mr Breton on behalf of the European Commission E-003135/2020


As stated by the Commission in its reply to written question E-002877/2015, Member States authorities set requirements for fire safety. However, flame retardants, as chemical substances, are assessed for the protection of human health and the environment and regulated under the REACH Regulation(1) and other EU legislation (e.g. EU POP Regulation(4), ROHs Directive(3)). For example, manufacturing, placing on the market and use of substances such as Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and Short-chain chlorinated paraffins are prohibited.

The Commission is in regular contact with many stakeholders, including the Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture, and is aware of their concerns. Furniture is one of the priority product categories identified in the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and accordingly, furniture, will be among the first product groups to be considered under the envisaged Sustainable Product Policy Initiative. The CEAP states the initiative will (inter alia) address the presence of hazardous chemicals in products, and build on existing Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria(4). However, the Sustainable Product Policy Initiative will be prepared in conformity with the Better Regulation policy of the Commission and subject to an impact assessment. Therefore, at this stage it is not possible to provide more elements on how the Sustainable Product Policy Initiative will deal with the hazardous flame retardants and how GPP goals will be strengthened.


(1) Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, OJ L 396, 30.12.2006
(2) Regulation (EU) 2019/1021
(3) Directive (EU) 2011/65, OJ L 174, 1.7.2011, p.88
(4) see



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