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 Post subject: flame retardants and PVC
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 11
Well, ecopcreview.org is not open yet so I will post this here!

I am interested in learning about any components available that have eliminated the use of brominated/halogenated flame retardants and PVC. On a related note, I'd like to know more about which components have these compounds in them to begin with!

So far, I know Fujitsu-Siemens has eliminated flame retardants from their motherboards but they are almost impossible to get in the US.

I found a BFR, PVC-free keyboard from Cherry, but again, I can't find these in the US (and they are ugly grey!).

I would love to learn what the readers of the 'green' computing forum know on this subject.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 12:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:55 am
Posts: 5085
Location: UK
Apple will eliminate all BFR and PVC by end-2008, Dell and Lenovo will do the same by 2009, HP not yet stated when all products will be PVC and BFR-free; sorry, I don't know any other manufacturers that have committed to this.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 7:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am
Posts: 2131
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Just as a side-note, not all BFR are banned in the EU or California. Penta- and Octo-bromodiphenyl oxides are listed as banned compounds. However, decabromodiphenyl oxides is not listed as a hazardous compound (less reactive) but have been found to accumulate in the human body.

I wouldn't want any of them in my system, toxic or not, but I thought it worth mentioning.

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 3:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 4:33 am
Posts: 34
Location: Sweden
Just want to give a short introduction to the area.
The main use for PVC in consumer electronics (polyvinyl chloride) is manly in electrical cables. There are some viable alternatives but industry has been slow to face out PVC for several reasons, both cost reasons and problems finding good flex agents for alternatives.

Halogenated flame retardants are used in the printed wire board and in the component mould of nearly all IC that use component mold. The PWB stands for the vast majority of flame retardant if measured by mass. There have been good alternatives for PWB around for some time now and it is relatively painless to face out but the component mold in the IC industry has had some problems finding a good alternative flame retardants. Most of the larger IC suppliers have developed halogen free component mold but it is still not widely available on the market yet.

As mentioned the RoHS directive has banned the use of PBE and PBDE and these flame retardants are no longer used but there are many other halogenated flame retardants that are widely used and that have been shown to be bioaccumulative.

I think it will be hard for you to find any consumer electronics that are completely PVC and Halogen-free but if I where you I would look at european manufactures since they generally have a better track record in this area. I know that some of the european mobile phone manufactures have come far in this area.


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