We have worked with the electronics industry to identify the chemicals being used at final assembly factories. We identified that over 70% of industry process chemicals were used as cleaners during the manufacturing process.
Due to this and the information we gathered on the types of chemicals workers were most at risk of being exposed to, we intend to add cleaning solvents to the TCO Certified Accepted Substance List (ASL) as part of the enhanced criteria of TCO Certified, generation 9.
The list includes the first public listing of independently assessed and approved process chemicals for the IT industry and is intended to help prepare supply chain manufacturers for the transition of working with restricted substance lists (RSLs) to making responsible alternative choices from those on the TCO Certified ASL.
We have financed the independent assessment of the most frequently appearing chemical ingredients. At the first publication of this list, 14 independently assessed chemicals showing their CAS numbers and benchmarks are already completed. Industry stakeholders are now welcome to further populate and update the list.
For the chemicals so far appearing without a benchmark, we have set a sunset date. These are less frequently appearing ingredients, but have been identified as good candidates for an approved benchmark score. However, unless an independent GreenScreen assessment showing an approved benchmark is submitted to us before the sunset date, the chemical risks being removed from the list and will not be permitted to be used on the manufacturing process lines of certified products.
The sunset date gives suppliers time to have their chemical assessed and benchmarked in order for it to remain or added to the list. Alternatively, the time is used by the manufacturer to replace a non-listed chemical with one that already has an approved benchmark.
To remain on or be added to the list, a chemical must be independently assessed by a licensed GreenScreen profiler, and receive a GreenScreen® benchmark score of 2, 3 or 4. These are listed as cleaning ingredients (CI). Alternatively, chemical mixtures that are GreenScreen certified (silver or gold) by a licensed GreenScreen Profiler are accepted. These are listed as cleaning products (CP).
For more information on the type of manufacturing process and chemicals in the scope of the list, please refer to criteria 2.5 in draft criteria documents for TCO Certified, generation 9.
For more details on how to add chemicals to the TCO Certified Accepted Substance List for Non-halogenated flame retardants, plasticizers or process chemicals, contact Stephen Fuller, Senior criteria manager at TCO Development.