ChemSec's "Electronics without brominated flame retardants and PVC- a Market Overview" report from 2010 showed that it is technically and economically feasible to replace toxic brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride, PVC, in a wide range of electronic products. The Market Overview lists over 500 products free from these toxics. A transition within industry is possible. Do regulators help or hinder?
Listing over 500 products free from toxic brominated flame retardants and/or PVC
The Market Overview covers 28 electronic companies; many of them market leaders in their sector.
- 23 of these have at least one product on the market free or almost free from brominated flame retardants.
- 25 of these have at least one product on the market free or almost free from PVC.
- Three out of four companies officially state that by 2014 they will have products totally free from brominated flame retardants and/or PVC on the market.
Industry is moving - do regulators help or hinder?
Greener, more environmentally-friendly electronics are possible! Many companies are already moving in this direction. What do regulators do? To stimulate this development, regulators - nationally and globally - have the opportunity, and responsibility, to establish legal frameworks confirming the elimination of replaceable, toxic chemicals used in electronics. In the European Union, EU legislators have the possibility to confirm sustainable developments like the one reflected in the ChemSec Market Overview, by taking action on brominated flame retardants and PVC:
- Legal frameworks like the EU RoHS directive are important vehicles to level the playing field and reward first-movers.
- Complacency rewards the laggards, and reverses the development towards environmentally-friendly electronics products.
The market overview
The objective of this market overview is to demonstrate how large parts of the electronics industry is moving away from brominated flame retardants and PVC. It lists products on the market free from brominated flame retardants (BFR) and PVC, as well as companies that have adopted strategies and policies to replace these by 2014.
In the EU RoHS Directive, electronic and electrical products are divided into ten categories. This market overview takes a closer look at six of these ten categories. Rather than aiming at a full overview of all the different products and producers in the market today, the overview aims to give an insight into how far it is technically feasible to produce electronic products without brominated flame retardants and PVC in each of these six categories. The market overview is based on a web-based research of official corporate information from a wide range of electronics companies, as stated on websites, in annual reports, press releases and product sheets publicly available during March and April 2010.