Full text 
Procedure : 2008/0033(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0341/2008

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 13/01/2009 - 17
CRE 13/01/2009 - 17

Votes :

PV 14/01/2009 - 4.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Tuesday, 13 January 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

17. Dangerous substances and preparations (dichloromethane) (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group.(FR) Madam President, first of all I would like to thank the rapporteur and reiterate that we have worked very well together to reach this compromise, which has the support of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats. Attention must be drawn to the fact that this is a highly toxic product and that viable and safe alternative solutions do exist. Indeed, we cannot deny the hazards – as you mentioned, Mr Verheugen – associated with the use of dichloromethane, particularly if the conditions do not guarantee user safety. Often dichloromethane is used by individuals carrying out restoration work in their own homes. They find it to be an excellent and effective product, but do not realise that by using it in an enclosed space they risk losing consciousness very quickly, and that there is even a risk of death if due care is not taken.

Contrary to the extreme position of a total ban, as first proposed by the rapporteur, the compromise we have reached now leaves Member States the option of providing an exception for professional and industrial use, but under clearly defined conditions. This is a valid compromise and it is important to recognise that dichloromethane is responsible for many accidents. I regret, moreover, that we have very little information on the accidents at work that have happened. I would also point out that an impact assessment was performed before the Commission’s work began and that its findings shaped the text. We must nonetheless ensure that very specific information is available to those individuals who may still be tempted to use this product, even though it is the Member States that are now responsible for drawing up clear rules and enforcing the general marketing ban on this product that is hazardous to health.

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