97103 2/16/2007 15:26 07THEHAGUE301 Embassy The Hague UNCLASSIFIED VZCZCXRO0355 OO RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV DE RUEHTC #0301 0471526 ZNR UUUUU ZZH O 161526Z FEB 07 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8225 INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST IMMEDIATE 1146 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA IMMEDIATE 0437 UNCLAS THE HAGUE 000301
STATE FOR OES (JTHOMPSON) STATE PLEASE PASS EPA STATE PLEASE PASS USTR USDOC/ITA FOR LEE ZACHOS USEU FOR ROSEMARY GALLANT
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: ETRD, BEXP.NL SUBJECT: DUTCH RESPONSE ON EU CLASSIFICATION OF BORATES AND BORIC ACID
REF: USDOC 1282
1. Econoff conveyed reftel points on February 14 to H. Roelfzema, Senior Policy Officer/Toxicologist at the Dutch Ministry of Health and Dutch representative to the upcoming February 16 ATP meeting in Brussels. Roelfzema acknowledged receipt of the points but did not provide a response. Econoff also shared the points with Frits von Meijenfeldt, Head of the Division on Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
2. On February 16, Econoff followed up with Spencer Paul, Head of the Product Safety and Injury Prevention Division at the Ministry of Health. Paul said the Dutch will continue to support a decision to classify borates and boric acid as a Category 2 substance due to associated health and safety risks of the material. While acknowledging the economic implications of such a classification, he said the Health Ministry's position was firm, as public health, safety, and liability concerns had determined the Dutch position. He added that the Dutch Health Ministry would take the lead on this issue in Brussels as it related more to public safety than economics in the Dutch view. BLAKEMAN