The European Commission has produced a draft delegated directive which have the effect of adding four phthalates to the list of substances proscribed under the Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS2) Regulation. The maximum permitted concentration of these would be 0.1 % by weight.
The four phthalates are:
- Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)
- Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP),
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and
- Di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP)
All of these are commonly used as plasticisers in electrical cabling. These substances are readily measured using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), but laboratories would need to ensure they can measure accurately at the 0.1% level so that compliant and non-compliant materials can easily be differentiated.
If there is no objection to the proposal from member states, this will come into force within 2 months and would have to be adopted by member states by the end of 2016.
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