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Fact sheet: Penta- and octa-BDE

Since August 2004, there has been a ban on the import, sale or use of penta- and octabromodiphenylether (penta- and octa-BDE). There is also a ban on the import or distribution of products containing these substances.
They were previously used as fire retardants in textiles and certain types of plastic (e.g. television cabinets, etc.)

Penta- and octa-BDE impact on the environment and human health

These substances have harmful effects on the liver and are suspected of causing foetal damage. There is also a risk they may affect hormone balance (from the thyroid gland). These substances accumulate in the food chain, and have been found virtually everywhere people have tested for them, including breast milk and the arctic region.

Importers, distributors and producers are responsible

These substances are not produced in Denmark. Anyone who imports, distributes or uses the substances in production will therefore be in breach of the legislation.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical inspectors monitor compliance with the regulations and will ensure that illegal situations are brought into compliance. This may involve withdrawing the product from the Danish market, or making the product legal in some other way. Anyone who breaches the regulations may additionally face a fine or prison sentence of up to two years.

More information

The entire text of the statutory order is available (in Danish) on the Retsinfo website:
Ministry of the Environment Statutory Order no. 1529 of 20 December 2004 limiting the import, sale or use of penta- and octabromodiphenylether