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TBBPA unlikely to be banned under RoHS
18 February 2009, News

The European Commission (EC) recently released its much anticipated review of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive without any additional banned substances.

Leading up to this announcement, the IPC conducted steadfast lobbying efforts to ensure that the EC did not add Tetrabromobisphenol (a) (TBBPA) as an additional substance to be monitored or restricted under RoHS.

“TBBPA was found to be safe for humans and the environment by a comprehensive risk assessment conducted by the European Union and therefore is not expected to be restricted under the EU Restriction, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) regulation,” explained Lee Wilmot, director of EHS at TTM Technologies and chair of the IPC EHS steering committee. “We are gratified that the commission has decided to base their proposal on scientific findings and to more closely align the RoHS directive and REACH regulation.”

IPC has been active in advocating that any new RoHS regulations be based on scientifically valid evidence. Following the release of the Öko-Institut’s draft report on the revision of RoHS, IPC filed comments and in June last year, hosted a workshop in Brussels to address industry concerns with the proposed expansion of RoHS substance restrictions.

IPC is also pleased that the proposal improves the alignment of the RoHS Directive with the REACH regulation. “The REACH and RoHS regulations affect the entire global supply chain and have significant implications for the success and survival of our industry,” said Dan Feinberg, owner of Fein-Line Associates and chairman of the IPC government relations committee. “IPC members will continue to urge that further substance restrictions be addressed under the REACH regulation in order to avoid duplicative and overlapping regulations.”

The battle is not necessarily over yet, however. “This is the first step in a lengthy legislative procedure that could see the proposals change before adoption,” explained Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy. “Amendments could be inserted during the next stages in the legislative process before the directive is finalised. IPC continues to be cautious and will be diligent to ensure that any proposed changes continue to be based on science.”

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