The ChemicalWatch conference on chemicals management in the electronics industry, Brussels, 28th March, showed that ensuring greener chemicals in plastics is a major challenge for the electronics industry, with some stakeholders even asking whether difficulties in controlling chemical safety and in electronic displays ensuring safe recycling could lead to question current use of plastics in E&E. The conference included contributions from the European Commission, OEMs, verification organisations and researchers. Discussions covered legislation driving safer chemicals requirements (WEEE, RoHS, REACH, POPs …) but also standards, voluntary schemes such as ecolabels and industry materials lists. The proposed EcoDesign Directive restriction on brominated flame retardants in electronic displays was particularly discussed, with some OEMs open to this because they are already moving to non-halogenated fire safety solutions, but industry concern that this is not the appropriate regulatory channel for substance restrictions. The importance of information sources for industry wishing to identify safer substitute chemicals was underlined, such as the IEC 62474 database on material declaration, the pinfa product selector, TCO certified accepted substances list, the Chemsec MarketPlace (see pinfa Newsletter n°97) and MaterialWise (a repository of hazard assessments of chemical alternatives, verified by external experts).
ChemicalWatch events page https://events.chemicalwatch.com/73247/chemicals-management-for-the-electronics-industry
Full summary of the conference “Chemicals management for the electronics industry”, ChemicalWatch, Brussels, 28th March 2019 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/long-thorny-way-greener-electronics-chemicals-management-beard