Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-373"

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"Mr President, I hope that we are on the way to a first reading agreement. I should like to thank the rapporteur, Mr Schlyter, for his excellent cooperative work on this report. I was delighted to hear that the Commission agrees with all our rapporteur’s compromise amendments. It augurs well, indeed, for a first reading agreement. Perfluorooctane sulfonates – PFOS – are chlorinated compounds with numerous applications in consumer products such as textiles and paper, are known for their repellent properties, amongst others, and are used daily in many consumer products. They also have some specific industrial applications in products as wide-ranging as microchips, fire-fighting foams, chromium plating and hydraulic fluids used in aviation. These chemical substances are known to be very toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. We have achieved several important changes to the draft proposal, which will bring greater protection for human health and the environment, especially in the area where the maximum threshold for the amount of PFOS that can be placed on the market as a substance or preparation has been substantially reduced from the Commission’s original proposal. I welcome the inclusion of PFOA – perfluorooctanic acid – in the scope of this directive. According to a recent OECD survey, the substance has a similar structure and toxicity to PFOS and thus should be phased out accordingly. Industry has voluntarily proposed to limit the use of PFOA by 2014, which in itself is a clear sign that our instincts were right to insist on its inclusion in the legislation. The changes introduced by this House have improved the proposal, and Mr Schlyter’s report is both balanced and objective. The report recognises that limited specific use derogations are needed for critical applications of substances for which no alternative currently exists, for example PFOS is essential in very small quantities in the semi-conductor sector and in hydraulic fluids used in aviation. The fact that the phasing-out of these will be based on a case-by-case review, taking into account new information on details of uses and on safer alternatives, is a constructive and realistic way to encourage the affected industries to actively seek alternatives. In conclusion, it appears that this piece of legislation will go through under the Finnish Presidency and we can avoid tying these toxic chemicals up in the REACH queue."@en1

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