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Health Hazards

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department classifies building foam containing ozone depleting substance blowing agents as hazardous. (257525)

Most insulation foam containing ozone-depleting substances are currently contained within buildings. At this point, annual emissions are known to be at their lowest and therefore present little risk to the ozone layer.

On becoming waste, insulation foam containing 0.1 per cent. or more of ozone-depleting substances is classified as hazardous waste. Further information on the classification of hazardous waste is available in the Environment Agency's technical guidance WM2, ‘Hazardous waste: Interpreting the definition and classification of hazardous waste, 2nd edition v2.2, 2005 (updated 2008)’.

DEFRA is working with building industry stakeholders to assess the current infrastructure available for dealing with the recovery or destruction of ozone-depleting substances in building foams and the technical and economic issues that arise.