Tax Extenders Bill Passed

This week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation known as the tax extenders bill by a vote of 76 to 16, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month. The bill is now on its way to President Obama who is expected to sign the bill. The following tax extenders were among the provisions included in the bill, which were applied retroactively and cost $41.6B according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

  • R&D credit
  • Bonus depreciation
  • 15-year depreciation for restaurants
  • Parity for mass transit and parking benefits
  • Sec. 199 deduction for Puerto Rico
  • Rum excise tax cover-over program for Puerto Rico
  • Modified production tax credit for renewable electricity production
  • Unrelated business income tax
  • New markets tax credit
  • Work opportunity tax credit

These provisions were only passed through 2014; and therefore, expire in just a few weeks.  Given this, efforts will be quickly underway for a new extension.

For more information on the tax extenders bill or IPC’s government relations efforts, contact Ken Schramko, IPC director of government relations, at KenSchramko@ipc.org or +1 202-661-8094.

2014 DSW Rule Fails to Sufficiently Incentivize Recycling

On December 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a final version of the 2011 proposed revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule. Unfortunately, the final rule fails to provide adequate regulatory relief for manufacturers wishing to do the right thing by recycling valuable secondary materials.

“IPC is disappointed that the DSW rule provides insufficient incentives to promote recycling of secondary materials and maintains many onerous and unnecessary requirements proposed in 2011,” said Fern Abrams, IPC director of regulatory affairs and government relations. Abrams continued, “The rule retains significant and unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

Although EPA has substituted a verified recycler provision for the more burdensome subtitle C regulations proposed in 2011, IPC remains concerned that the requirements could prove too onerous to encourage additional facilities to recycle secondary materials.

The most critical and important benefits of the 2008 DSW rule are undercut by the more burdensome and unnecessary provisions signed last week. The 2008 DSW rule had the potential to save industry, including electronics manufacturers, approximately $95 million per year while simultaneously providing an environmental benefit by reducing waste.

According to John Hasselmann, IPC vice president of government relations, “This issue has a significant effect on our members and we hope EPA will continue to look for opportunities to reduce the regulatory disincentives to recycling.”

Since 2007, IPC has advocated for a DSW rule that would promote and incentivize recycling of secondary materials. Wastewater treatment sludge from electroplating operations, predominately from the metal finishing and printed board industries, represents one of the United States’ largest potential sources of recoverable metals.

A pre-publication copy of the rule is available.  Visit IPC’s website for more information on the DSW rule.

New Regulations for Defense PCBs Take Effect December 30, 2014

New regulations for Military Electronics (Category XI) go into effect on December 30, 2014. The changes to the U.S. Munitions List, which is regulated through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), states that printed circuit boards (PCBs) “specially designed” for defense-related purposes will be controlled under USML Category XI. Additionally, any designs or digital data related to “specially designed” PCBs will be controlled as technical data.

The rule, which was advocated for by IPC, clarifies and highlights the importance of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) on PCBs in ITAR-controlled defense articles. This clarity represents a significant step in addressing the confusion in the defense industry about ITAR controls on PCBs, which should reduce inappropriate sourcing of printed boards for ITAR items from non-ITAR facilities.

For more information, consider attending a special briefing and open discussion with State Department official Sam Harmon on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, Calif.

 

EU MEPs and NGOs Call for Mandatory EU Conflict Minerals Requirements

On Thursday, December 4, 2014, the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade held a hearing to discuss proposed legislation on conflict minerals. The hearing “Trade in Minerals Originating in Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas,” was well attended, with most speakers supporting of a wider product scope than EU Commission’s (EC) proposed legislation which focuses on the importers of raw materials.

The majority of speakers also supported a compulsory mechanism instead of the proposed voluntary program.  Both Global Witness and the Congolese were critical of the EC proposal, advocating for tougher and more coherent measures focused on addressing human rights abuses. Several of the Members of Parliament (MEPs) in attendance spoke out on the need for a mandatory program with a wider product scope that includes downstream companies that manufacture products containing conflict minerals. Signe Ratso from the EC DG Trade explained why the EC proposal does not target downstream users, but suggested that the EU could consider taking steps to ensure that all companies in the supply chain using products containing minerals from conflict areas report on their due diligence. Industry representative on the panel advocated in favor of a voluntarily mechanism and highlighted the efforts undertaken by Eurometaux, IPC and other associations.

The hearing began with opening remarks from Bernd Lange, Chair of the Committee on International Trade and Iuliu Winkler, Rapporteur, along with two panels of witnesses.  The first panel, which focused on discussing the EU Commission’s proposal within current international regulatory context, featured Tyler Gillard – Legal Adviser, OECD Investment Division, previously leading OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict Areas; Descartes Mponge Malasi – President of South Kivu civil society and of NGO ACADHOSHA; and Remy Kasindi – President and Research Director of Centre de Recherches et d’Etudes Strategiques en Afrique Centrale (CRESA), Bukavu, Congo.  The second panel focused on implementation by business and the impact on the ground included testimony from Guy Thiran – Director-General of Eurometaux; Julian Lageard, Member of the Conflict Minerals issue group, DigitalEurope; and Michael Gibb – Campaign Leader for Conflict Resources, Global Witness.

IPC Standards Committee Reports — DFX, Supplier Declaration, Electronic Documentation, EH&S, Management

These standards committee reports from the 2014 Fall Standards Committee Meetings have been compiled to help keep you up to date on IPC standards committee activities. This is the fourth and final in the series of reports.

DFX

The 1-14 DFX Standards Subcommittee is in the final phase of completing a committee review draft of IPC-2231, Design for Excellence (DFX) Guideline During the Product Lifecycle. This new document will provide a comprehensive guideline for the DFX process. Industry ballot is planned for spring of 2015. IPC-2231 will be complementary to primary design standards, IPC-2221B and IPC-2222A.

 Supplier Declaration

 The 2-18 Supplier Declaration Subcommittee discussed the need to revise IPC-1751A, General Requirements for Declaration Process Management. The revision will facilitate the harmonization of all IPC data exchange standards in the 175X family. As part of the revision, the subcommittee will restructure the 175x family of standards. The restructuring will allow the laboratory declaration standard (IPC-1753) and conflict minerals standard (IPC-1755) to be part of the IPC-175x family of standards.

The 2-18b Materials Declaration Task Group discussed further enhancements to IPC-1752A, Materials Declaration Management. The committee discussed needed changes to the schema in order to accommodate the reporting of substances with multiple, application dependent thresholds, such as the PAH requirements recently added to REACH.  Release of solution providers who met the requirements of IPC-1752 is scheduled for end of October 2014. Next year the evaluation process will be updated to insure more anonymity. This may require process changes requiring solution providers to undergo a yearly review to ensure they follow the latest released standard, schema and IPC lists of substance categories and exemptions. In addition, the task group will continue to work towards harmonization with the IEC 62474 materials declaration standards.

The 2-18f Packing Materials Declaration Task Group discussed amending IPC-1758, Declaration Requirements for Shipping, Pack and Packing Materials, to include a field for declaring recycled content of packaging material. The task group will propose an amendment after IPC-1751A, General Requirements for Declaration Process Management is revised.

The 2-18h Conflict Minerals Data Exchange Task Group reviewed and edited the working draft of IPC-1755, Conflict Minerals Data Exchange Standard. The task group committee agreed, that a major change to the IPC 1755 standard once per year, in the April timeframe would work OK for solution providers, provided that there were not any additional major changes during the rest of the reporting period. Based upon a discussion regarding timing constraints brought about by the need to begin data collection in early-mid 2015 for the 2015 SEC reporting period, the committee agreed to proceed with an Amendment to the IPC 1755 Standard.  With a goal of having a final standard published in mid-spring to allow update of the the CMRT and other solutions by April/May 2015, the committee agreed to an agressive schedule for Amendment 1.

The 2-18j Laboratory Declaration Task Group discussed the publication of IPC-1753, Laboratory Report Declaration Standard. The standard allows for laboratory data to be seamlessly exchanged among supply chain partners. Committee attention then turned toward real world implementation traction: analytical labs producing the xml files, uptake software providers developing software to assimilate and evaluate the data within the files.

Electronic Documentation Technology

The 2-40 Electronic Documentation Technology Committee and 2-41 Product Data Description Subcommittee discussed the IPC-261X series. Discussion included modifications to IPC-2611, Generic Requirements for Electronic Product Documentation, IPC-2612, Sectional Requirements for Electronic Diagramming Documentation and IPC-2612-1, Sectional Requirements for Electronic Diagramming Symbol Generation Methodology, as well as IPC-2614, Sectional Requirements for Board Fabrication Documentation. The committee started work on IPC-2614-1 which shows how to use an XML computer format to describe laminate materials.

Environment, Health and Safety

 The 4-32 Equipment Safety Subcommittee has been reinvigorated with new participants, including equipment manufacturer participation, and is pursuing a broad-focus fabrication and assembly process safety guideline (IPC-1332) to help consolidate the myriad of local standards affecting process line design and installation. There are ongoing discussions with SEMI on the possibility of a joint-logo document. Committee confirmed decision to withdraw IPC-133, and incorporate any pertinent information in the broader IPC-1332 document.

The 4-33 Halogen-Free Materials Subcommittee restarted after a three year hiatus to focus on concerns within Europe with Tetrabrominated bis-Phenol A (TBBPA) in the newer RoHS2 environmental hazards activity. The subcommittee is accumulating economic data of what could be a wholesale replacement of TBBPA with halogen-free flame retardants within the global electronics laminates marketplace. To date, there has been no such cost information generated to help refute the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Europe who are starting to build their “case” for eliminating TBBPA as a flame retardant in as little as a one-year time frame.

The 4-34b Marking, Symbols and Labels for Identification of Assemblies, Components & Devices Task Group reviewed updates needed on J-STD-609A, IPC/JEDEC Marking and Labeling of Components, PCBs and PCBAs to Identify Lead (Pb), Lead-Free (Pb-Free) and Other Attributes, including adding references to the recast RoHS Directive and clarification that markings under this standard do not denote EU RoHS compliance or any other regional substance restriction legislation addressing lead content. A working draft of the IPC JEDEC J-STD-609B standard is close to being completed for review by the committee.

Management

The 8-41 Technology Roadmap Subcommittee, under the very active guidance of its Executive Committee 8-40, is nearing completion of the 2015 IPC International Technology Roadmap for Electronic Interconnections, scheduled for publication just before APEX 2015. Much broader input from more global technology sources characterizes this release. Areas for expansion and improvements in both methodology and content for the 2017 release are being identified and catalogued, as we complete the 2015 release. A new co-chair (Mike Carano-OMG/IPC Board member) has been added to help prepare for the 2017 release.

 The E-30 Conflict Minerals Due Diligence committee reviewed the working draft of the white paper on conflict minerals due diligence. Dave Carnevale was voted Co-chair. The committee reviewed the working draft by sections. Once the document has been edited and reviewed by the committee, it will be distributed for industry review.

 

International Conference on Green Electronics Highlights Diversity of Industry Goals

Last week, I attended and presented a paper at the Going Green Care Innovation 2014 conference. The conference, which was held in Vienna, Austria attracted an international crowd of more than 400 engineers, researchers, scientists, and policy experts interested in reducing the impact of electronics on the environment.  Participants came from major OEMs, academia, and the government. Reaffirming the global nature of the electronics industry, attendees came from36 countries on five continents.  During the conference, I presented a paper highlighting the use of IPC’s data exchange standards (IPC-1751, IPC-1752, IPC-1753, IPC-1755, IPC-1756, and IPC-1758) for supply chain compliance.

When I first attended this conference in 2010, I left with a sense that European regulators and companies were focused on energy efficiency and climate change. Other similar conferences focued on RoHS implementation or recycling.  This year’s conference, titled, “Towards a Resource Efficient Economy,” did not leave me with a clear vision of where electronics companies would be focused in the next few years.

Speakers and presenters from leading global OEMs presented papers in most of the topic areas, including circular economy, recycling, substance restrictions, re-use, repair and refurbishment, legislation and its impacts, energy efficiency, supply chain management, life-cycle assessment, eco-design, and end-of-life management.

IPC Standards Committee Reports – Terms and Definitions, High Speed/High Frequency, Rigid Printed Boards, Embedded Devices, Printed Electronics

These standards committee reports from the 2014 Fall Standards Committee Meetings have been compiled to help keep you up to date on IPC standards committee activities. This is the third report in the series.

Terms and Definitions

The 2-30 Terms and Definitions Committee met to resolve comments to the Final Draft of IPC-T-50M, Terms and Definitions for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuitry.  The forthcoming revision will address new and revised terms for conformal coatings, potting and encapsulating materials, stencil design, statistical process control, and bottom termination component (BTC) devices.

High Speed/High Frequency

The D-21 High Speed/High Frequency Design Subcommittee has been reactivated to develop a new IPC-2228, Sectional Design Standard for High Frequency (RF/Microwave) Printed Boards.  The effort addresses a gap in the series of IPC-222X printed board design standards, as currently there are only IPC guidelines dedicated to RF/Microwave circuitry (IPC-2251 and IPC-2252).  This document will establish requirements for the design of printed boards as they apply to radio waves in the frequency range of 100 MHz to 100 GHz utilizing waveguides or antennas.  A working draft will be made available for review in in Q1 2015.

The D-22 High Speed/High Frequency Performance Subcommittee continued with updates to the the working draft of IPC-6018C, Qualification and Performance Specification for High Frequency (Microwave) Printed Boards.  Thermal stress testing requirements for high frequency boards with microvias was the primary topic.  The group also reviewed a proposal from Intel Corp. on the need for a standardized measurement methodology for the surface roughness of treated copper foil “in process” by a printed board fabricator prior to lamination to other subcomposite printed board layers.  A new IPC D-22a task group will be established to address this need.

The D-23 High Speed/High Frequency Base Materials Subcommittee having released the Amendment 1 to IPC-4103A, Specification for Base Materials for High Speed/High Frequency Applications found some additional changes that need correction and worked on five sections as a start on Amendment 2.

Rigid Printed Boards

The D-31b IPC-2221/2222 Task Group, responsible for the IPC-2221B, Generic Standard on Printed Board Design, met to discuss the need for a revision to the IPC-2226, Sectional Design Standard for HDI Printed Boards, which has not been updated since its original 2003 publication date.  It was agreed that the revision effort will be handled by this task group.  Members of WKK Distribution Ltd. and ESI offered to lead a sub-group that would work from October 2014 – February 2015 on a first working draft of IPC-2226A that would be provided for in-depth review at IPC APEX EXPO 2015.

The D-33a Rigid Printed Board Performance Task Group reviewed comments on the final draft of IPC-6012D, Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards.  The group focused on comments related to requirements for periodic (monthly or quarterly) quality conformance testing and marking legibility requirements for etched or ink marking.  The task group then began developing a list of conforming and non-conforming imagery for new sections of IPC-6012D that will be incorporated into an IPC-A-600J, Acceptability of Printed Boards.

The D-35 Printed Board Storage and Handling Subcommittee addressed the working draft to IPC-1601A, Printed Board Handling and Storage Guidelines. The subcommittee plans to develop an Appendix that provides samples of industry packaging requirements for board fabricators across three categories of packaging complexity.  The group also addressed a gap in the document where the impact of baking of printed boards affects the solderability of ENIG applied surface finishes.

Embedded Devices

The D-55 Embedded Devices Process Implementation Subcommittee discussed comments received during the recent balloting of IPC-7092, Design and Assembly Process Implementation for Embedded Components Document passed the ballot process, but some reservations associated with one negative ballot were reviewed and dispositions provided. A final resolution acceptance meeting is required by procedure, which will either result in a unanimous acceptance or publication with one dissenting vote before January 1, 2015.

 Printed Electronics

The D-60 Printed Electronics Committee welcomed new additions to the leadership of this active general committee overseeing printed electronics standards development as Raj Kumar agreed to take the chair position, freeing Dan Gamota to step back to a vice-chair position.

The D-61 Printed Electronics Design Subcommittee continued to gather input for revision A of IPC-2291, Design Guidelines for Printed Electronics. The group has set a preliminary release date of fall 2015. Dr. Hirofumi Matsumoto has been added to the D61 leadership group as cice-chair to facilitate design needs exchange with the JPCA “mirror” committee.

The D-62 Printed Electronics Base Materials Substrates Subcommittee is preparing significant expansions in scope to IPC/JPCA-4921 including new information on glass and glass-like substrates, many additional plastic film alternatives, and an entirely new cellulosics section. Target for publication of revision A: 1Q 2015.

The D-63 Printed Electronics Functional Materials Subcommittee continued to gather material for IPC/JPCA 4591A, expanded the scope to include information on insulatives, optically-active, and possible semi-conductive functional materials. The expanded scope may delay the proposed 1Q 2015 publication date until 3Q 2015.

The D-64 Printed Electronics Final Assembly Subcommittee prepared a working draft of IPC-6901, Performance Requirements for Printed Electronics Assemblies for review. An additional co-chair is needed, but a vice chair has been added to help reduce the load on the existing chair, whose work duties force a pullback from IPC activities.

The D-65 Printed Electronics Test Method Development and Validation Subcommittee has begun independent activities with a number of new committee participants. The first draft of one test method subsection (flexibility evaluations) has been received and is under committee review. Murad Kurwa, Flextronics, is the new co-chair sharing the workload with Dan Gamota, Jabil Circuit.

The D-66 Printed Electronics Processes Subcommittee continues to work closely with the JPCA “mirror committee” to refine “best practices/implementation guideline” draft for printed electronics processing. Preliminary goal for initial release: fall 2015.

 

 

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to Rehear Conflict Minerals Case

Yesterday, Tuesday, November 18, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed to rehear a case challenging the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals rule.

In April, the panel struck down the portion of the rule forcing companies to declare whether or not their products are “conflict free,” ruling that it violated the First Amendment. The appeals court upheld other aspects of the law, such as requiring companies to check their supply chains to see whether minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) region were being used, and to file reports to the SEC.

Yesterday’s panel decision is potentially at odds with the D.C. Circuit’s full-court ruling in July that country-of-origin labeling for meat does not violate commercial free speech protections. In both cases, the key question regards compelled speech — how far the government can go to force companies to say something that they would not otherwise state.

The D.C. Circuit panel, in granting the rehearing petition, asked the lawyers in supplemental briefs to address what effect, if any, the meat-labeling decision has on the SEC’s conflict minerals rule.

 

IPC Standards Committee Reports — Base Materials, Fabrication, Assembly & Joining, Flex Circuits

These standards committee reports from the 2014 Fall Standards Committee Meetings have been compiled to help keep you up to date on IPC standards committee activities. This is the second in a series of reports.

Base Materials

The 3-11 Laminate/Prepreg Materials Subcommittee successfully revised, balloted and released IPC-4101D, Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multilayer Printed Boards in April 2014. Shortly after this, a few company members brought up some details in the released version that they believe requires an Amendment modification to the D revision. This took up more than 75 percent of the meeting to discuss and decide the items to be covered in an amendment to IPC-4101D. The other 20-25 percent of the meeting involved distributing hard copies of IPC-4101D to the 3-11 Subcommittee members listed in the document’s Acknowledgement Page.

The 3-11f UL/CSA Task Group discussed upcoming items for ballot by the STP members in the UL 796 standard for rigid or multilayer printed boards. The group went through nearly two dozen items for comment in UL 746E Ballot by the STP group on these items in this UL standard will begin shortly.

The 3-11g Corrosion of Metal Finishes Task Group reviewed the status of mixed flowing gas testing of various metal finishes for corrosion on component leads as well as printed board surfaces. Flowers of Sulfur (FoS) corrosion testing was also reviewed during the meeting.

The 3-12a Metallic Foil Task Group addressed some round-robin data results using the non-contact surface roughness test (proposed TM 2.2.22). While data is only available from three of six test facilities, data is trending to show reasonable surface roughness information.

The 3-12d Woven Glass Reinforcement Task Group examined weave size data for four weave styles (106, 1080, 2116 and 7629) measured in a round robin test format by four test facilities. Statistical analysis (Gauge R & R) of the test data was not as consistent as hoped, but was showing adequate viability of the test procedure used by the four test companies. More testing is needed.

Fabrication Processes

The 4-14 Plating Processes Subcommittee reviewed revision A efforts underway on IPC-4552, Specification for Electroless Nickel/Immersion Gold (ENIG) Plating for Printed Circuit Boards. The group is using the released copy of IPC-4556, Specification for Electroless Nickel/Electroless Palladium/Immersion Gold (ENEPIG) Plating for Printed Circuit Boards as a template. Some of the items to be included in the revision A were discussed: a) Work on a test vehicle to evaluate a thinner gold plate for performance, b) Other work on evaluating hypercorrosion of the electroless nickel when the immersion gold is deposited, c) A test method being developed to measure the phosphorus content in the nickel is nearly completed, and d) In order to analyze the phos content of the underlying nickel, two test methods to strip the gold overplate are in development.

Assembly and Joining

The 5-11c Electronic Assembly Adhesives Task Group is approaching final draft status for a new document, IPC-HDBK-4691, Guidelines for Design, Selection, Application, and Reliability of Adhesives and Associated Processes Used for Electronics Assembly Purposes (working title). Publication target: 1 Q 2015.

The 5-21g Flip Chip Mounting Task Group is preparing revision A of IPC-7094, Design and Assembly Process Implementation for Flip Chip and Die Size Components. The committee confirmed 7094 will not contain new packaging concepts of 2.5 and 3-D package configurations (addressed separately in a, IPC-7091 byB-11 Subcommittee). To facilitate that separate approach, a limited-scope (fast-track) revision of 7094A is planned, primarily for the addition of ultra-fine-line, copper pillar, and bump-on-trace (BOT) technologies, to free up some of the shared resources for the larger, more complex IPC- 7091 effort. Target publication of 7094A is expected by 2016 IPC APEX Expo.

The 5-21k IPC-SM-817 SMT Adhesive Task Group completed follow-up on comments received on the Final Industry Review circulation of IPC-SM-817A, General Requirements for Dielectric Surface Mounting Adhesives. The document will now be balloted.

The 5-22a J-STD-001 Task Group celebrated the release of IPC J-STD-001F, Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies. The committee also discussed industry feedback on some of the changes and voted to open the document for an amendment. The committee leadership is considering teleconferencing as a means for moving ahead quickly with discussions on these concerns.

The 5-22arr J-STD-001/Conformal Coating Material & Application Industry Assessment Task Group discussed the current status of round robin testing.

The 5-22as Space Electronic Assemblies Task Group completed review of the comments to the new revision F. The document will be prepared for Final Industry Review.

The 5-22F IPC-HDBK-001 Task Group continued work on the revisions to the document to incorporate J-STD-001 Revision F changes. The task group set an aggressive timeline and is working to complete actions and discussion before the end of 2014 using KAVI and teleconferencing opportunities.

The 5-22bt J-STD-001 Technical Training Committee met with the provider for the updates to the J-STD-001 training program and to discuss the use of Certification Quality Initiative (CQI) for testing and reporting. The beta class for the new course materials is being scheduled for December 2014.

The 5-22ad Requirements for Military Systems Working Group reviewed soldering on military systems and identified where more stringent requirements than those currently in J-STD-001 may be necessary.

The 5-23b Component and Wire Solderability Specification Task Group continued working on the next revision of J-STD-002, Solderability Tests for Component Leads, Terminations, Lugs, Terminals and Wires.

The 5-24b Solder Paste Task Group is reviewing test methods originating with the group.

Flexible Circuits

The D-13 Flexible Circuits Base Materials Subcommittee has started a 30-day ballot on revision A of IPC-FC-234, Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) Assembly Guideline for Rigid, Flexible or Rigid-Flex Printed Boards. The subcommittee is also in the ballot process for an Amendment 1 to IPC-4203A, Cover and Bonding Material for Flexible Printed Circuitry that will add another specification sheet material (/25 for a polyamide-imide copolymer) to the document.

The D-15 Flexible Circuits Test Methods Subcommittee addressed revising TM 2.6.3.2 Insulation and Moisture Resistance Flexible Base Dielectric Board to its C revision,that will have a new title: Surface Insulationand Moisture resistance, Copper Clad Flexible Dielectric Material. The work that took place significantly improved the test method’s clarity.

California to Require Hazard Warnings on Products Containing Twelve Common Chemicals

Anyone who has ever been to California is familiar with the ubiquitous Proposition 65 signs, “WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”  Applying to any product sold in the state of California, Proposition 65 traces origins to a 1986 voter initiative. Because of the overuse of the vague warning, the ubiquitous signs ultimately communicate very little information to the end user. This problem has been recognized by California courts, advocates, and businesses. Proposed changes to the rule could require manufacturers to provide detailed information on chemicals in products sold in the state of California.

By the end of 2014, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is expected to formally propose changes to Proposition 65. OEHHA has released a pre-regulatory draft of the potential changes that are cause for concern. Based on the pre-regulatory draft, potential changes could include:

  • Requiring manufacturers to provide a detailed report to OEHHA that includes the manufacturer’s contact information, anticipated route of exposure of the chemical, anticipated level of human exposure to the chemical, and steps a person can take to minimize or eliminate exposure;
  • Eliminating safe harbor language, which would require the warning label language to say “can expose” instead of “chemical is present;”
  • Identifying 12 chemicals that must be specifically named on any warning label. These chemicals are: acrylamide, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, chlorinated tris, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, phthalates, tobacco smoke, and toluene; and
  • Requiring the use of a new pictogram.

IPC continues to monitor these developments and will be hosting a timely, in-depth panel discussion on this topic during IPC APEX EXPO in February 2015. The panel will include an industry perspective, a representative from OEHHA, and a company representative to talk about how the changes would impact them.

More information can be found at www.ipcapexexpo.org.

 

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