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Electronics Production | May 30, 2006

TBBPA issue is not solved

According to a debating article in the Swedish electronics journal Elektronik i Norden the Swedish industry expert Lars Wallin, European IPC Representative, is concerned about what will happen if the Swedish government decides to go further with the TBBPA banning plans.
Lars Wallin is talking about an electronics-free Sweden as a result of a possible ban of TBBPA which is used as a flame retardant in both PCB laminate and in components.

The Swedish department for Chemical regulations the KemI on March 15 turned in a recommendation to the Swedish government to await the European Commission´s assesment report regarding the environmental- and health risks of using TBBPA as a flame retardant in electronics equipment. Lars Wallin stated that this recommendation is not enough since he thinks that the Swedish government wants to do something about it before the Swedish election in September this year and Lars Wallin also thinks that the Swedish government has an option to do so.

"It hasn´t been shown clear enough that the KemI has turned in two optional ways for the Swedish government to handle this situation, both for additative and reactive TBBPA. The government could by chosing the first option await the European Comission´s assessment. So far so good", Lars Wallin wrote in the article.

"However the insecurity for the Swedish electronics industry sneaks in when the second optional way of handling this issue is presented to the government by the KemI. This has divided the TBBPA into two classes; one additative and one reactive direction", Lars Wallin added.

These are the two directions for the Swedish government to consider:
TBBPA - Way of action II, Additative content
- A limited ban with gradual implementation
- ABS polymers etc. ban from January 1 2012.

TBBPA - Way of action II, Reactive content
- The ban will not include TBBPA in contents lower than one percent.

It is the second way of handling this issue that worries Lars Wallin. "There is a possibility that the Swedish government will chose this alternative. The consequence will be that a major part of the 56 million circuit boards that every year is imported to- or manufactured in Sweden will be illegal by July 1st 2007", Lars Wallin Wrote.

However Lars Wallin claimed that this regulation will be poinless since there is no way to find out wether the TBBPA content is reactive or additative.

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