Following their declaration as PECs in 2005-06, an interim public health risk assessment of certain Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) congeners was prepared, based on the results of biomonitoring studies commissioned by DEW.
Following the interim assessment of the public health risks of the PBDE congeners, an interim prohibition, effective 6 March 2007, was placed under section 61 of the Act on the import and manufacture of pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE) and mixtures containing the chemical, while it remains a PEC. The prohibition is a precautionary measure based on the findings of the interim risk assessment. PentaBDE is not currently being imported into Australia but potential for future imports exists. The prohibition will be reviewed on completion of the final risk assessment of it.
The PEC octabromodiphenyl ether (octaBDE) was removed from the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS) under section 63 of the Act as a result of no applications being received for its assessment over a 12-month period, indicating that it is not being imported into or manufactured in Australia. OctaBDE will have to be notified to and assessed by NICNAS as a new chemical prior to any future import or manufacture. The only exception is import as a laboratory standard for analytical determination, consistent with section 21(6)(a) of the Act, and persons importing octaBDE for this purpose must comply with annual reporting obligations as required under the Act.