Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-371"
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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to start by thanking the rapporteur, Mr Schlyter, for his hard work on this proposal, which has made it possible to reach agreement with the Council at first reading. This is an important directive. It is concerned with restricting the marketing and use of perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS) and related substances. These substances are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. They have the potential to cause unacceptable risks to human health and the state of the environment. The proposed Directive is based on specific risk assessments and impact assessments of possible measures. It takes into account detailed discussions with all interested parties. The Directive prohibits in principle, with very limited derogation, the marketing and use of PFOS and related substances. Derogations are envisaged for essential applications in small quantities, which do not pose any unacceptable risks according to the opinion of the Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks. Large-scale uses – for example in the field of textiles and carpets – have already been discontinued by industry, and this Directive will reliably prevent the reintroduction of such uses. The proposed Directive will not only ensure the protection of human health and of the environment, but also serve to strengthen the internal market, as it introduces Community-wide harmonised rules for the marketing and use of PFOS and related substances. With regard to the derogations contained in the proposal, I agree that the use of PFOS and related substances should continue to be permitted in photoresists and photographic materials, when plating with hexavalent chromium and other metals, and in hydraulic fluids, as the risks connected with these uses are acceptable since there are no equivalent alternatives and it is not certain that the toxicological profiles of the alternatives are any better. With regard to fire-fighting foams, I can agree that the marketing and use of new foams should be prohibited and that a period of 54 months should be granted for the continued use of existing stocks. On the other hand, I am not prepared, at present, to support the extension of the envisaged restrictions to other perfluorinated alkyl compounds such as PFOA, as this would be premature given the absence of a completed risk assessment and of sufficient knowledge of current uses and alternatives, but we can return to this subject. By way of conclusion, I should like to say that the transformation process has benefited greatly from the close cooperation between Parliament, the Council and the Commission. The Commission can therefore endorse all the compromise amendments proposed by the rapporteur, Mr Schlyter."@en1
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