DOC

The ChemSec report, Green Electronics Market Overview Technical

By Vincent Cooper,2014-05-17 13:02
9 views 0
ChemSec's report is also misleading because it only shows the technical feasibility of removing BFRs and PVC with no indication of any environmental benefit

The ChemSec report, Green Electronics Market Overview: Technical feasibility for electronic

    companies March 2010 is misleading, incomplete, and misrepresentative of the electronics industry.

    ? ChemSec’s report fails to identify the alternative flame retardants used and whether they are better

    for human health and the environment than the brominated flame retardants (BFRs) they

    replace/are intended to replace.

    ? ChemSec’s report makes misleading statements about the environmental and health concerns

    associated with BFRs

    ? A full understanding of potential adverse impacts of alternative substances is essential in order to

    determine whether they are better for human health and the environment than the substances

    being restricted.

    ? ChemSec’s report is incomplete and misleading, claiming to represent the actions of the electronics

    industry while identifying only select companies and products in select categories.

    ? ChemSec’s report glosses over the essential uses of BFRs by identifying companies as “almost

    halogen free”

    ? Much of ChemSec’s report is based on repetition of public relations and marketing materials

    produced by select manufacturers. It is unclear which, if any of the data, was verified or reviewed

    for accuracy.

    ChemSec’s report makes misleading statements about the environmental and health concerns associated with BFRs

    While some BFRs, such as Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs), have been identified as toxic and have been

    withdrawn from the market, other BFRs such as Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA) have been safely used

    in electronic products for decades. TBBPA is the primary flame retardant used in printed boards. The

    World Health Organization and the European Commission Scientific Committee on Health and

    Environmental Risks (SCHER) conducted separate, comprehensive scientific assessments of TBBPA and

    both found TBBPA to be safe for human health and the environment. TBBPA should not be restricted

    because scientific evidence has not shown any risks to be associated with the use of TBBPA in

    electronics.

An often stated explanation for the proposed restriction of BFRs and other chlorine and bromine

    containing materials, including PVC, is the formation of dioxins and furans during incineration. Regulated,

    controlled incineration of bromine- and chlorine-containing materials does not pose a problem for

    human health or the environment. Dioxin formation occurs for low-temperature, uncontrolled

    incineration, such as that conducted in substandard recycling processes in developing countries. A

    variety of toxic chemicals are released during open burning of electronics products, particularly toxic

    metals, cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and lung-damaging particulates. These

    materials are released during the open burning of wastes, particularly electronic wastes, even when

    halogens are removed. Removing BFRs and PVC will not eliminate the risks to human health and the

    environment that are associated with improper disposal of electronics.

    ChemSec’s report fails to identify the alternatives used and whether they are better for human health and the environment.

    A full understanding of potential adverse impacts of alternative substances is essential in order to

    determine whether they are better for human health and the environment than the substances being

    restricted. ChemSec’s report is also misleading because it only shows the technical feasibility of

    1

removing BFRs and PVC with no indication of any environmental benefit in doing so. Being able to

    remove BFRs and PVC from a specific product does not prove that the switch is beneficial to human

    health, the environment and product performance.

ChemSec’s report is incomplete and misleading, claiming to represent the actions of the electronics

    industry while identifying only select companies and products in select categories.

    There are hundreds of electronics companies and thousands of electronic products not mentioned in

    ChemSec’s report. The ability of one electronics company to remove BFRs and PVC from a product does

    not mean that every electronics company is capable of removing BFRs and PVC. It appears that

    ChemSec selectively picked companies and products that prove their point that BFR/PVC-free electronic

    products are technically feasible.

    ChemSec’s report glosses over the essential uses of BFRs by identifying companies as “almost halogen free”

    ChemSec’s report states, “It is today possible to replace brominated flame retardant and PVC in a large

    number of electronic products.” However, preliminary review of a few arbitrarily chosen companies 1 have made the profiled in ChemSec’s report paints a far different picture. While Dell, Sharp and Sony

    commitment to remove BFRs and PVC from certain products, each company explicitly states that the

    removal of all BFRs and PVC is contingent upon viable alternatives that do not compromise the

    functionality, safety, and reliability of the product. Dell’s environmental statement goes even further to 2say, “acceptable alternatives…will lower product health and environmental impacts.” Review of the company’s websites also showed that companies only identified a few models of a specific product type

    are BFR/PVC-free. ChemSec’s report states that Dell notebooks/laptops are “almost free from BFR/PVC (with some remaining BFR or PVC containing component/parts)” while Dell’s website identifies only three laptop models that are BFR/PVC-reduced.

ChemSec’s report falsely identifies products with a star (*) that “are BFR or PVC free” in 2014. While that

    may be a company’s intentions, those products are not available yet and there is no guarantee they will be available in 2014. “Sharp is committed to eliminating PVC and phthalates *and BFRs and antimony

    compounds] from all products by the end of fiscal 2010, provided that it can procure alternatives to these substances that do not sacrifice the capabilities, performance, and quality of its products.” 3(Emphasis added). This statement clearly indicates that BFR and PVC-free products are not guaranteed

    to be available in 2014. By identifying a product that may be BFR/PVC-free in 2014 as actually being

    BFR/PVC-free is misleading and entirely inaccurate.

About IPC

     1 These companies were arbitrarily chosen. Review of these websites included reading each company’s written

    commitments to removing BFRs and PVC from their products. These written commitments can be found here:

    Dell’s Greener Products Materials Use policy http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/d/corp-comm/earth-greener-

    products-materials.aspx; Sharp’s Environment and Social Report 2009 http://www.sharp-world.com/corporate/eco/data_list/chem.html; Sony’s policy on Management of Chemical Substances in Products http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/csr/environment/chemical/products/index.html#page_body_hp 2 Dell’s Greener Products Materials Use policy http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/d/corp-comm/earth-greener-

    products-materials.aspx 3 Sharp’s Environment and Social Report 2009 http://www.sharp-world.com/corporate/eco/data_list/chem.html

    2

IPC Association Connecting Electronics Industries is a member-driven organization and leading source

    for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy. IPC supports programs to

    meet the needs of an estimated $1.7 trillion global electronics industry. IPC’s core members are companies that produce printed circuit boards and assemblies by attaching electronic components to

    the bare printed boards. IPC membership also includes original equipment manufacturers (OEMs),

    suppliers, government offices, and academia. IPC has more than 2,700 member organizations, with

    nearly 400 companies located in Europe. IPC maintains offices in Bannockburn, Ill. (headquarters); Taos,

    N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; and Shanghai and

    Shenzhen, China.

    3

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com