CPSC Votes to Ban Organohalogen Flame Retardants in Electronics Casings

Today, on September 20, 2017, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted, along party lines, to grant petition CPSC-2015-0022; Petition Requesting Rulemaking on Products Containing Organohalogen Flame Retardants (OFRs). The petition, which was filed by a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), asks the CPSC to ban the use of organo-halogen flame retardants in several products, including the (outer) plastic casings of electronics.

The commission also voted, again along party lines, to convene a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) on OFRs. CPSC staff will be tasked with moving forward on the rulemaking process to ban OFRs from electronic casings (as well as toys, upholstered furniture, and mattresses). The CHAP will provide additional insight and fill in data gaps to support the rulemaking process.

The commission also voted, along party lines, to publish in the federal register, a notice to alert the public on environmental risks of OFRs and guidance to industry to refrain from adding OFRs in products.

Although the petition and other CPSC actions today do not address the use of flame retardants in electronics components, it is likely that this broad and unprecedented action against the entire class of OFRs will enhance deselection pressures throughout the supply chain.

The vote today follows a September 14 CPSC hearing which included testimony from the electronics industry. View blog item: CPSC Hearing Reviews Petition to Ban Organohalogen Flame Retardants in Electronics Casings.

IPC will continue to follow this issue to inform our members and advocate for their concerns.

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