Environmental Regulations

“Asian Chemicals Regulations”

Author: Gregory Dripps; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Abstract: Asia is adopting core elements of REACH, although the region is not adopting the regulation itself. Registration and reporting are based on tonnage bands, with mandated testing requirements (physical/chemical plus toxicity). Possession of data packages will become a currency of the future as management controls consider a substance’s potential hazards and use, not just hazards. A philosophical shift is underway, whereby the notion that existing or new materials are safe is being abandoned, and comprehensive analysis and testing data are required to demonstrate an acceptable hazard profile. In many nations, rules will go into effect as early as this year. (IPC Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, July 2010)

“Recent Developments in the Implementation of the EU REACH Regulations”

Author: Michael Kirschner; mike@designchain-associates.
Abstract: More than 140,000 substances have been preregistered, almost five times more than expected. To date, there are 38 candidate substances of very high concern (SVHC), and the Commission expects 165 by 2012. Until a listed substance is authorized or restricted, it remains a Candidate SVHC. To use an SVHC, make sure your supplier is legally authorized if your supply chain goes through the European Environment Agency. Furthermore, compliance in the EU does not mean compliance elsewhere. (IPC Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, July 2010)

“Halogen–Free: A Regulatory Overview”

Author: Susan Landry; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Abstract: Combustion gases generated during fires (whether or not flame retardants are present) that contribute to acute toxicity include CO, HCN, HCl, and acrolein. Carbon monoxide is responsible for more than 90% of all fire-related deaths. The most important pollutants generated in fires are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polyhalogenated dibenzodioxins and furans (PHDDs/PHDFs). Measurements made in large fires have shown that the PAHs have an up to 500 times higher cancer risk than the PHDDs/PHDFs. PAHs are generated in all fires, and many are carcinogenic compounds. In the US, the “Chemicals of Concern” Action List includes phthalates, short-chain chlorinated paraffins, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and perfluorinated chemicals, including PFOA. An upcoming DfE will review Deca-BDE alternatives. The Department of Toxic Substances Control is called on to scientifically and systematically identify and prioritize chemicals and consumer products for manufacturers to conduct alternatives assessments, and DTSC could impose regulatory responses for alternatives selected by manufacturers. In June the European Parliament Environmental Committee voted to support amendments that require further evaluation instead of a ban on the use of certain organobrominated materials and PVC in electronics and electrical equipment, with certain exclusions for materials for military purposes and vehicles. (MEPs also called for a ban on nanosilver and carbon nanotubes, and that other EEE material containing nanomaterials should be labeled.) Amendments will now be considered by the full plenary session of the European Parliament. (IPC Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, July 2010)

Laminate Environmental Testing

“The Combustion Testing Phase EPA DfE Project on Flame Retardants for Circuit Boards”

Author: Dr. Emma Lavoie, et al; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Abstract: Goals of this work, a partnership of the US EPA and various industry suppliers, included identifying and characterizing commercially available flame retardants and their environmental, health, safety, and fate aspects in FR-4 printed circuit boards. The work applied lifecycle thinking to consider hazards and exposures, and used EPA New Chemicals Program criteria to evaluate hazard and environmental fate concerns. Methods included comparing the combustion byproducts from FR-4 laminates and PCB materials with different flame retardants during potential thermal end-of-life processes, including open burning, incineration, and smelting. Testing is designed to be a first step in providing industry with a comparative analysis of combustion byproducts from these materials, and to help inform further studies to better understand these byproducts in real-world scenarios. Investigations covered combustion testing of printed circuit board laminates, including materials containing phosphorus, TBBPA and no flame-retardant additives under temperatures of 300°, 700° and 900°C, with and without oxygen. (IPC Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, July 2010) CA

This column provides abstracts from recent industry conferences and company white papers. With the amount of information increasing, our goal is to provide an added opportunity for readers to keep abreast of technology and business trends.

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