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EU to modify German restrictions on IPBC biocides

German plans to block a particular application method for wood preservatives containing the fungicide, IPBC (3-iodo-2-propynyl butylcarbamate), have failed to gain support by the European Commission and other member states. Germany wanted to reject applications by automated dipping of wood, even though this method has been approved in other member states. Instead, the Commission has proposed that such products can be approved in Germany, on the condition that labels state that the dipping process must be fully automated, with no manual handling during the treatment and drying process. Its proposal received a positive vote by the EU Standing Committee on Biocidal Products in May. IPBC gained EU approval as a biocide in 2008 (Agrow No 550, p 13). Its first product approvals were in the UK, and were subsequently mutually recognised by other member states. However, Germany raised concerns over possible skin contact with treated wood or contaminated surfaces.

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