2009/425/EC: Commission Decision of 28 May 2009 amending Council Directive 76/769/EEC as regards restrictions on the marketing and use of organostannic compounds for the purpose of adapting its Annex I to technical progress (notified under document number C(2009) 4084) (Text with EEA relevance)

Published date04 June 2009
Official Gazette PublicationOfficial Journal of the European Union, L 138, 04 June 2009
L_2009138EN.01001101.xml
4.6.2009 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 138/11

COMMISSION DECISION

of 28 May 2009

amending Council Directive 76/769/EEC as regards restrictions on the marketing and use of organostannic compounds for the purpose of adapting its Annex I to technical progress

(notified under document number C(2009) 4084)

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2009/425/EC)

THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having regard to Council Directive 76/769/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to the restrictions on the marketing and use of dangerous substances and preparations (1), and in particular Article 2a thereof,

Whereas:

(1) Tri-substituted organostannic compounds were previously widely used in antifouling paints on ships. However, such paints were found to pose risks for aquatic organisms through endocrine disruptive effects. The use of organostannic compounds, also known as organotin compounds, in antifouling paints was therefore restricted in Directive 76/769/EEC, and in Regulation (EC) No 782/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 April 2003 on the prohibition of organotin compounds on ships (2). Furthermore, tri-substituted organostannic compounds may no longer be used as biocides under Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998 concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market (3). However articles treated with such biocides may still be imported into the Community.
(2) Di-substituted organostannic compounds, including in particular dibutyltin compounds (DBT) and dioctyltin compounds (DOT), are widely used in consumer articles where they function either as a stabilizer or as a catalyst.
(3) The use of organostannic compounds in consumer articles has been found to pose a risk to human health, particularly for children. The specific risks to the health of children and adults from various consumer articles have been identified in a risk assessment (4), and have been confirmed by the Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) in its opinion of 30 November 2006 (5).
(4) Although di-substituted and tri-substituted organostannic compounds have the same adverse health effect, namely immunotoxicity via the thymus gland, and act in a cumulative way, the potency of the tri-substituted compounds (such as TBT and TPT) is greater than that of the di-substituted compounds (DOT and DBT). Furthermore, tri-substituted organostannic compounds being emitted from articles for either consumer or professional use could have adverse effects on the environment — in particular on aquatic organisms. More severe restrictions should therefore be imposed on articles containing tri-substituted organostannic compounds.
(5) Certain DBT compounds (dibutyltin dichloride, CAS: 683-18-1, and dibutyltin hydrogen borate, CAS: 75113-37-0) will soon be classified in the framework of Council Directive 67/548/EEC (6) as toxic to reproduction, category 2, and it will subsequently be prohibited to sell the substances and mixtures containing them to consumers (7). More severe restrictions should therefore be imposed on articles containing DBT compounds, allowing for continued use for an additional period of time only where no suitable alternatives are available such as catalysts in RTV-1 and RTV-2 sealants, paints and coatings, or PVC stabilisers in certain products (for example coated fabrics, PVC profiles) to allow the development of suitable alternatives, or where the articles concerned are already regulated by other more specific legislation.
(6) Exposure to DOT compounds is highest from certain specific consumer articles such as printed textiles, gloves, footwear, wall and floor coverings, female hygiene products, nappies, and two-component silicone moulds.
(7) Despite the availability of alternatives for most uses to be restricted, certain producers of articles containing DOT and DBT will need time to adapt, and an appropriate transition period should be therefore foreseen for these applications.
(8
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