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Germany's General Information

Germany's General Information

Introduction

Chemicals

In addition to European regulations, some German restrictions and prohibitions for the content of dangerous substances in construction products and for the emission of dangerous substances from construction products are laid down in the Prohibition of Chemicals Ordinance. An important derogation from the EU regulation concerns the content of pentachlorophenol in products. Further, national restrictions relevant for construction products are valid for formaldehyde, synthetic mineral fibres as well as for certain polychlorinated and polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans. See the German text of the Prohibition of Chemicals Ordinance (Neufassung der Chemikalien-Verbotsverordnung). An editorial revision of the ordinance is foreseen in near future. The list of the test methods according to the Prohibition of Chemicals Ordinance is also available. This list is updated regularly.

Waste Issues

The Act for Promoting Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management and Ensuring Environmentally Compatible Waste Disposal (available in German) requires that binding of waste within products may in particular not lead to an accumulation of harmful substances within the recovered substance cycle. This act implements the Directive 2008/98/EC in Germany. National limit values for e.g. recycled wood for use in wood-based panels are given in the Waste Wood Ordinance and limit values for recycled aggregates are included e.g. in the national standard DIN 4226-100.

Harmful Impacts

The German Model Building Code (Notifications 2002/467/D; 2016/0228/D) requires that construction works shall not endanger human health and natural resources. Only when the required level of protection in terms of human health is achieved, may construction products be used or applied. The approach of the Model Building Code is not restricted only to dangerous / hazardous substances covered in regulation but includes all harmful impacts of the substances used in a product on human health and the environment.

Emissions into indoor air

The Principles of health assessment of construction products in indoor environments of the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (see: 2005/255/D; 2009/167/D) provide a guideline for the implementation of the Model Building Code for the protection of human health. An assessment according to these principles is a binding requirement for the use of certain construction products such as floor coverings. In addition to an emission test according to the pass/fail criteria of the so called AgBB evaluation scheme certain exclusion criteria apply. For example, the active use of carcinogenic and mutagenic substances of EU categories 1A and 1B is not allowed.

Release into soil and groundwater

The Principles for assessing the effects of construction products on soil and groundwater of the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (see: 2006/90/D; 2011/95/D) provide a guideline for the implementation of the Model Building Code for the protection of the natural resources soil and groundwater. The assessment criteria are derived, where available, from the so called insignificance thresholds for groundwater (Geringfügigkeitsschwellenwerte für das Grundwasser) established by LAWA (Working Group of the German Länder on Water Issues). These principles have been applied so far mainly for construction products not covered by the CPD. However, certain concrete constituents such as fly ash may only be used, if approved according to these principles. In addition to a release test with pass/fail criteria certain exclusion criteria apply. The active use of for example substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction in the EU categories 1A and 1B is not allowed.

Drinking Water

The Ordinance on the quality of drinking water intended for human consumption (Drinking water Ordinance) is the transposition of the European Council Directive of 3 November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumption (Directive 98/83/EC) into national law. The German drinking water ordinance is based upon generally accepted codes of practice. Pursuant to the amended German Drinking Water Ordinance, since December 2012 the UBA has been tasked with stipulating mandatory evaluation criteria for materials and substances that come into contact with drinking water. The guidelines and recommendations issued heretofore by the UBA were less legally binding. These guidelines and recommendations will be implemented in the mandatory evaluation criteria in the coming years.

Links

Sources for legal texts:

Sources for guidelines:

Data from Germany in this database

The German ordinances and administrative provisions that contain requirements for dangerous substances in construction products covered by harmonised standards or ETAs included in this database are the following:

 

Contact points

NameOuti ILVONEN, Federal Environment Agency, Unit III 1.4
AddressWörlitzer Platz 1
D-06844 Dessau-Roßlau

Postfach 1406
D-06813 Dessau-Roßlau
Telephone+49-340-2103 3538
Fax+49-340-2104 3538
Emailouti.ilvonen@uba.de
URLhttp://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/topics/economics-consumption/products/building-products
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