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Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has held recent discussions on the human safety of Deca-BDE with the French Government; and if he will make a statement. (221184)

The Secretary of State has not held bilateral discussions about the human safety of Deca-BDE with the French Government in its capacity as Health Rapporteur. The assessment has been discussed at meetings of the European Competent Authorities for implementation of the Existing Substances Regulations. Officials from the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive have represented the UK throughout the risk assessment process. The Department, through toxicology experts in the Health Protection Agency, is routinely consulted on human health aspects.

Further information is still being collected by the French rapporteur in relation to human health before a final conclusion can be reached. The European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is now in force; the risk assessment process has now been transferred to that system. In the meantime, monitoring by the Health Protection Agency continues to ensure that prompt action can be taken if new evidence suggests that human health may be at risk.