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Chemsec, The International Chemical Secretariat, has withdrawn from the EU-Commission working group charged with updating the banned substances list in the Directive on Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive (RoHS) in electronics. The only non-profit expert organization in the working group, Chemsec cites the reason for the departure as an inability for the group to agree on whether to phase our brominated and chlorinated flame retardants and PVC, substances widely confirmed as toxic for both human health and the environment.

“It’s unfortunate that the working group has lost Chemsec as a member, as they have been instrumental in presenting concrete solutions to phasing out well-known hazardous substances contained in electronics” explains Emma Nolte of TCO Development, who heads the development of environmental criteria in TCO Certified.

The IT industry has demonstrated its ability to phase out brominated and chlorinated flame retardants as well as PVC. Many TCO Certified product models contain minimal amounts of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants and many products are already PVC-free.

“It’s realistic to expect legislation to reflect the reality of what’s really happening in production”, continues Nolte.

TCO Certified includes criteria for the minimization or elimination of these hazardous substances in the IT product models carrying the certification. As a voluntary program, the goal of TCO Certified is to advance the sustainable development of IT products in all life cycle phases; manufacturing, use and end of life handling.

What is RoHS?

RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) is an EU Directive aimed at limiting or banning the use of hazardous heavy metals and flame retardants in electrical and electronic products.