Canadian regulation could eliminate critical substances for solder flux

IPC has notified its contacts in Canada about a proposed Canadian regulation targeting the elimination of several substances that may be vital to the electronics industry.

On June 20, the Canadian government released a list of substances that could be slated for elimination, including three substances that are critical, functional ingredients in solder flux:

  1. Rosin, hydrogenated;
  2. Resin acids and Rosin acids, hydrogenated, esters with triethylene glycol; and
  3. Resin acids and Rosin acids, hydrogenated, esters with glycerol.

Without action from industry, these substances are likely to be restricted under Canada’s Chemical Management Program which aims to regulate 200 chemical substances categorized as being potentially harmful to human health and/or the environment. Below is a short background on this program:

Canada’s Chemicals Management Program is a part of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999 and is the first chemicals program to categorize chemicals. The ultimate goal of the program is to improve protection against hazardous chemicals. The program involves a variety of measures to ensure the proper management of chemicals: information on proper use and disposal; regulations to restrict and possibly ban chemicals; and a risk-based, science-based approach to chemical assessments. The government has instituted a science-based regulatory system to improve assessment and mitigation of risks to ensure the proper management of chemicals.

Every three months, the Canadian government publishes batches of 10-25 substances from the list of 200 chemical substances. Industry and stakeholders will have six months to provide comments once a batch is released on how the Canadian government should proceed forward. The government will take one of the following actions on chemicals once the comment deadline is complete: no action, put the chemical on a Priority Substances List for further assessment, or recommend the chemical be added to the List of Toxic Substances with the possibility of virtual elimination.

IPC is working with our members, especially the IPC Solder Value Products Council, to gather more information about these substances and their use in solder products, particularly flux. We would appreciate industry feedback on the effect of this ban on your business. Once we have gathered sufficient information, we will prepare comments for submission to the Canadian Government on behalf of the industry.

Please send your comments, feedback and questions about the Canadian Chemicals Management Program to Stephanie Castorina (StephanieCastorina@ipc.org) or Fern Abrams (fabrams@ipc.org) or call IPC’s Environmental Policy Office at +1 703-522-0225.

One Comment

  1. Posted November 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    This can be a setback for a lot of companies, but I believe it is important that the government is setting this up. It is significant for the environment, those working in the manufacturing of applicable products, and for the consumer. I noticed that the government would be pushing towards such measures and I support them because there are alternatives to flux solder. I now use S-Bond Technologies, which supply my company with brilliant solder alloys that are versatile and the product range suits a variety of materials. They are environmentally friendly since they are flux free. However, they do a great job and are an innovative alternative to traditional solders. In addition, their performance is second to none. I highly recommend that those that are concerned visit their website at http://www.s-bond.com for all the information.


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