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Electronics Production | September 13, 2004

Unawareness of recent UK Ban

The recent UK ban on the use of certain brominated flame retardants in the manufacture of new electrical and electronic equipment, has resulted in confusion amongst the electronics industry.
Immense publicity surrounding the year 2006 deadlines for the WEEE and RoHS Directives has meant that this has been the major priority for the industry. Thus, a separate EU Directive, which has had less publicity, has fallen by the wayside and resulted in many electronics companies still being unaware of this regulation, which came into force in the UK on 15th August 2004, PCBWorld.com reports.

This recent ban comes under a separate EU regulation restricting the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances. The EU Directive on the brominated flame retardants, pentabromodiphenyl ether (penta-BDE) and octabromodiphenyl ether (octa-BDE), came into force in the EU on the date of publication –15th February 2003. However, each EU member state must introduce their own national legislation in order to implement any EU Directive. The UK has decided on 15th August 2004 and, consequently, penta- and octa- BDE’s are now banned in the UK.

Annual consumption of all brominated flame retardants in Western Europe for the electronics industry is approximately 22,000 tonnes. The key four sub-divsions are: casings (59%), printed circuit boards (30%), connectors and relays (9%) and wire and cable (2%).

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