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Product ban versus risk management by setting emission and technology requirements: The effect of different regulatory schemes taking the use of trichloroethylene in Sweden and Germany as an example

Listed author(s):
  • Birkenfeld, Florian
  • Gastl, Daniel
  • Heblich, Stephan
  • Lienert, Ferry
  • Maergoyz, Mascha
  • Mont, Oksana
  • Plepys, Andrius

This report highlights the opportunities inherent in smart regulatory measures to effectively reduce risks related to hazardous substance emissions and exposure, and underscores the danger of simplistic and ineffective policy. The example of different regulatory approaches used in Germany and Sweden to regulate the use of trichloroethylene was taken as the basis for the study. During the 1990s, due to environmental, health and safety considerations, the use of trichloroethylene in Europe was a subject of broad concern. As a consequence, the use of trichloroethylene became regulated through multiple approaches, such as labelling, handling regulations and performance standards. Since that time the absolute emissions of trichloroethylene in Europe have been decreasing consistently in all member states. These results were achieved by various regulatory measures governing the use of trichloroethylene in industrial applications that have been introduced by individual Member States. However, given the implementation responsibility at Member State level not all member States have implemented the same set of regulatory measures. In Germany, for example, the use of trichloroethylene is regulated through strict technical standards for equipment and emissions that has required companies to replace existing old machines with the state-of-the-art equipment. In Sweden a general ban on trichloroethylene use was introduced in 1996, which however eventually evolved into an exemption permit system for companies that found no alternative to degreasing with trichloroethylene.

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Paper provided by University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics in its series Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe with number V-37-05.

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Date of creation: 2005
Handle: RePEc:zbw:upadvr:v3705
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  1. Sterner, Thomas & Slunge, Daniel, 2001. "Implementation of Policy Instruments for Chlorinated Solvents: A Comparison of Design Standards, Bans, and Taxes to Phase Out Trichloroethylene," Discussion Papers dp-01-32, Resources For the Future.
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