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IPC initiates discussion on ROHS expansion

Posted: 21 May 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RoHS  TBBPA  HBCDD 

The IPC association urges technical experts from member companies to participate in a special meeting to be held on June 18, 2008 in Brussels to discuss their concerns about RoHS expansion. Representatives of the European Commission and other stakeholders in the electronics industry are also called to attend the meeting.

In a letter sent to its members last week, IPC detailed its concerns about the Draft Report issued by the Öko Institute, the organisation retained by the EU Commission to study the inclusion of additional substance restrictions in the RoHS Directive. Also included in the report is the Institute†s flawed methodologies.

In its report, the Institute went beyond the framework initially set by the EU Commission and created new criteria and categories for inclusion within the RoHS Directive. It proposes that substances observed in the environment concerning combustion should be prohibited under RoHS. This includes Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), the flame retardant used to protect more than 80 per cent of printed circuit boards and found to be safe by a comprehensive European Union Risk Assessment. In addition to TBBPA, the Institute suggests banning Hexabromocylcododecanes (HBCDD), several phthalate plasticisers, and all organic compounds containing chlorine and bromine.

IPCâ€s letter to its membership also reveals that Institute staff denied IPC permission to attend a workshop it held for discussion of the report because only “scientific experts were invited.â€

While the Institute chose to exclude some stakeholders from their meeting, IPC believes it is critical for all scientific evidence to be presented, hoping that the special meeting in Brussels will provide industry experts an avenue to present their technical findings before the EU Commission makes a final decision.

Furthermore, IPC supports the ongoing objectives of unifying European chemicals regulation through REACH, opposing the Instituteâ€s concern for the need of more focused legislation on electronic and electrical equipment.





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