Risk Management of DecaBDE: Commitment to Voluntary Phase-Out Exports to Canada

The Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Regulations (PBDE Regulations) were published in 2008, prohibiting, among other things the manufacture of decabromodiphenyl ether and nonabromodiphenyl ether (contained in the DecaBDE commercial mixture) in Canada.

In August 2010, Environment Canada and Health Canada published a Final Revised Risk Management Strategy for PBDEs which reiterated the objective of reducing the concentration of PBDEs in the Canadian environment to the lowest level possible.  This risk management strategy noted a proposal by three large worldwide producers of DecaBDE to voluntarily phase-out the export of DecaBDE to Canada.  This proposal followed an announcement by these three manufacturers of DecaBDE of their intention to phase-out the production and import of DecaBDE in the United States.  These commitments will mean a reduction in the importation of this substance into Canada.

This proposal to phase-out the export of DecaBDE to Canada has now been followed up voluntarily with letters of commitment from the three large producers of DecaBDE:

These letters contain the following commitments:

  • Phase-out of DecaBDE exports and sales for electrical and electronic equipment by the end of 2010.
  • Phase-out of DecaBDE exports and sales for all other uses, except transportation and military, by the end of 2012.
  • Phase-out of DecaBDE exports and sales for transportation and military uses by the end of 2013.

These voluntary commitments are an important step in reducing the exposure of the Canadian environment to this substance.