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PCB | July 02, 2009

Swedish agency calling for restriction of key PCB flame

A significant source of pressure for the restriction of TBBPA under the RoHS Directive is coming from the Swedish government.

The European Union Council has begun discussions of the proposed revisions to the RoHS Directive. The proposed revisions include four additional substances to be considered for restriction under RoHS, changes to the exemptions policy, and new marking and labeling requirements for all electrical and electronic equipment sold in the EU. In addition, there is growing pressure to restrict tetrabromobisphenol(a) (TBBPA), a reactive flame retardant used in over 80% of printed circuit boards (PCBs), under the RoHS directive, despite the comprehensive EU Risk Assessment finding TBBPA to not be harmful to the environment or to human health. A significant source of pressure for the restriction of TBBPA under the RoHS Directive is coming from the Swedish government. Recently, KEMI, the Swedish chemicals agency issued a proposal to restrict the use of TBBPA under RoHS. US organization IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries said in an open letter that it is vitally important that the electronics industry advocate for scientifically-based evidence to be used in determining what substances are in fact harmful. Otherwise, TBBPA will just be the first of many substances banned at the request of non-scientific interest groups. IPC also encourages companies to write to KEMI regarding the importance of RoHS being based on scientific principles. Download the letter template here (Word document). Image source: Albemarle
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