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1 Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR) Use in Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR) Use in Electrical and Electronic Equipment."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR) Use in Electrical and Electronic Equipment

2 2 BFR Use in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) are a family of 75 chemical substances with different properties, characteristics, and performance. Only common point: all contain bromine – an element that is available in nature. BFRs are added to plastics used in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) to slow down or prevent the ignition of fire

3 3 Flame Retardants Dramatically Reduce Fire Risk and Save Lives Flame Retardants, when used in EEE, may save lives and reduce property damage by preventing the spread of flame and fire. Fire statistics suggest that the risk of death or injury from fires involving consumer products can be reduced 30 to 90 percent or more by using flame retardants IPC White Paper and Technical Report on Halogen-Free Materials Used for Printed Circuit Boards and Assemblies

4 4 Flame Retardant Effectiveness Will insert table from studies showing difference in fire rates in US and Europe due to FR use.

5 5 Unique Characteristics of BFRs Historically, BFRs have been widely added to plastics used in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). Why? BFRs provide excellent fire retardancy benefits at low cost. Only small amounts of BFRs are needed to provide fire protection, resulting in no alteration of physical properties of electric and electronic equipment.

6 6 Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs) PBBs have been found to be persistent, bioaccumulative toxins PBBs are classified possible carcinogens Most production of PBBs ceased in the 1970s. Major manufacturers prohibit their use Result: rarely found in EEE manufactured today

7 7 Penta- and Octa- Brominated Diphenyl Ethers (BDEs) Penta- and Octa- BDEs are considered possible endocrine disruptors The European Union and the state of California have banned the use of penta- and octa- BDEs in EEE sold in the EU by Recently US states have considered and enacted similar bans (Maine, California, Hawaii). The chemical industry has voluntarily agreed to stop production of these BFRs in the US by Major manufacturers prohibit their use Result: rarely found in EEE manufactured today

8 8 Deca-Brominated Diphenyl Ethers Deca-BDE is still used as a flame retardant in some plastic housings, particularly in TVs The use of Deca-BDE is not currently banned in any country.

9 9 Scientific Studies on Deca-BDE The EU recently conducted a risk assessment of Deca-BDE and concluded that the chemical presents an acceptably low risk to the environment. Other studies (National Academy of Sciences, World Health Organization) also found the risks posed by Deca-BDE to be insignificant. To address continuing concerns regarding Deca-BDE persistence and bioaccumulation, industry will be developing voluntary risk reduction and monitoring strategies.

10 10 Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA) TBBPA is the leading flame retardant used in circuit boards (95%) and computer chip casings TBBPA is used because it is cost effective, compatible with circuit board components, and qualified for use on a worldwide basis. TBBPA in circuit boards is bound into the polymer structure and does not pose exposure risks

11 11 Scientific Studies of TBBPA The use of TBBPA is not restricted in any country. The World Health Organization conducted a scientific assessment of TBBPA and found that the “risk for the general population is considered to be insignificant.” Six separate studies published between 1990 and 1997 support the conclusion that the manufacture, use and disposal of information technology devices containing TBBPA-flame retarded printed circuit boards do not increase human dioxin exposure. The EU is currently conducting a risk assessment for TBBPA. In October 2003, UK Rapporteur confirmed no health effects of concern for TBBPA. US National Toxicology Program is currently studying TBBPA

12 12 Summary of Legal Restrictions on BFRs in EEE ApplicationsStatus PBBsRarely foundBanned in US and EU Octa and Penta BDEsRarely foundBanned in Certain US States and EU by 2006 Deca BDEsTV and computer casings Not banned but under study in US and EU TBBPACircuit boards and chip casings Not banned but under study in Certain EU states

13 13 Alternatives to BFRs Due to concerns over BFRs, the electrical and electronic industries continue to seek effective alternatives to BFRs Many companies striving to reduce or eliminate BFRs where technically feasible and alternatives achieve equivalent or superior flame retardancy. Search for alternatives is complicated by limited alternatives and possible risks posed by those alternatives.

14 14 Deca-BDE Substitution The effectiveness of this substance as a flame retardant is currently unsurpassed. Although there are potential substitutes they have functional disadvantages. These substitutes would need to be added to a much higher percentage thus changing important characteristics of the designed parts. The important issue with any substitutes concerns the fire resistance requirements that demand higher effective solutions

15 15 Assessment of BFR Alternatives Lifecycle impacts are key! Design, Use, and End-of-Life Is alternative truly better for the environment? Can it meet same technical and functionality requirements? Are the alternatives compatible with higher lead-free processing temperatures? Will it decrease product safety or reliability? What are the tradeoffs?

16 16 Trade-offs of BFR Alternatives in Circuit Boards ChemicalStrengthsWeaknesses Antimony TrioxideLow toxicity to aquatic organisms May be toxic to humans if inhaled Aluminum HydroxideLow toxicityDecomposes during soldering Magnesium Hydroxide Low toxicity Zinc BorateLow toxicity to humans Toxic to aquatic organisms Red PhosphorusNon-toxicHighly flammable May degrade Source: HDP User Group, International Inc.

17 17 End-of-Life Restrictions on BFRs It is important to note that BFRs are present in historical and current EEE As mandates are enacted that require the EEE industries to increase their use of recycled plastics, it is important to ensure that BFR restrictions do not apply to recycled resins.

18 18 Future BFR Use in the Electronic Industries The production of PBB, penta BDE and Octa BDE has stopped or will stop by Existing risk assessments do not demonstrate a public health or environmental concern from Deca- BDE or TBBPA. Any mandated restrictions on Deca-BDE or TBBPA could cost lives and increase property damage by restricting the industry’s use of effective flame retardants. BFR restrictions should not apply to recycled plastic resins. Industry will voluntarily continue to look for alternatives to BFRs.

19 19 Back-up Slides

20 20 WW Consumption of Flame Retardants Source: CEFIC-EFRA, 2001

21 21 Total BFR Use by all Industries Source: BSEF, 2003

22 22 BFR Use by EEE Industries Source: BSEF, 2000


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