IPC Request for Information on Five Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic Chemicals

On March 16, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a 60-day comment period to collect information from stakeholders on the final risk management rules to reduce exposure to five different persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals (PBTs). In addition, the EPA issued a temporary 180-day “No Action Assurance” to ensure enforcement discretion is given regarding prohibitions that were set to take effect on March 8, 2021, on the processing and distribution of phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) – referred to as PIP (3:1) – and articles to which PIP (3:1) has been added.

This request for information aims to bring together industry information on the manufacturing (including import), processing, or distribution of these five PBTs or articles containing these PBTs in the electronics manufacturing supply chain. We are issuing this request to harmonize the response from industry and efficiently consolidate information for submission to the EPA in response to the 60-day comment period. The electronics manufacturing supply chain has an opportunity to collect and provide information to the EPA to ensure the updated final rule provides realistic risk mitigation strategies and timelines to implement these strategies. The specific provisions outlined in the final rule will protect human health and the environment by addressing risks and reducing exposures to PBT chemicals to the extent practicable. Without industry input, the EPA will be unable to create realistic risk management strategies.

All information that is received by IPC as a result of this request will be aggregated and anonymized.

What are the five PBTs being regulated under TSCA?

  • Phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) (CAS Number 68937-41-7) is used as a flame-retardant, plasticizer, and anti-wear additive or an anti-compressibility additive in hydraulic and lubricating oils, lubricants, greases, and adhesives and sealants. PIP (3:1) remains mostly unregulated by existing global chemical and product regulations and, therefore, companies manufacturing or importing articles have only recently begun the process of identifying PIP (3:1) in their supply chains.
  • Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE) (CAS Number 1163-19-5) is used as an additive flame retardant in plastic enclosures and is commonly found in wire and cable rubber casings, textiles, building and construction materials, and aerospace and automotive parts.
  • 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP) (CAS Number 732-26-3) is commonly found in fuel additives, fuel injector cleaners and oil and lubricants.
  • Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) (CAS Number 87-68-3) is used as a solvent in rubber manufacturing and in hydraulic, heat transfer or transformer fluid.
  • Pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP) (CAS Number 133-49-3) is found in rubber products and it is used to make rubber more pliable in industrial uses.

Request for Information

The request for information applies to all five PBT chemicals:

  • PIP (3:1), 68937-41-7
  • DecaBDE, 1163-19-5
  • 2,4,6-TTBP, 732-26-3
  • HCBD, 87-68-3
  • PCTP, 133-49-3

We do not require any reporting format for your response, we only request that you provide feedback by April 16. IPC Contact: Kelly Scanlon, +1 202 661-8091.

Please respond to the following questions with detailed information. Without detailed information, IPC will be unable to provide adequate comments to the EPA and the EPA is unlikely to establish practicable compliance timeframes for industry.

All information that is received by IPC from this request will be aggregated and anonymized.

  1. Please tell us more about your company.  Include NAICS code(s).
  • Original equipment manufacturer
  • Electronics manufacturing services and assemblers
  • Printed Circuit Board manufacturer
  • Cable and wire harness manufacturer
  • Electronics industry parts and components supplier
  • Formulator
  • Other
  1. What is your role? (And, please tell us which of the five PBT chemicals apply)
  • My company does not process or distribute any of the five PBT chemicals or any PBT-containing articles in the U.S.
  • My company is processing a PBT chemical or a PBT-containing article in the U.S. (Please tell us which of the five PBT chemicals apply)
  • My company is a formulator and uses a PBT chemical in its formulations made in the U.S.
  • My company is a formulator and uses a PBT chemical in its formulations and imports them to the U.S.
  • My company is distributing a PBT chemical or a PBT-containing article in the U.S.
  • My company is importing a PBT chemical or a PBT-containing article into the U.S.
  1. Please provide a description of each article(s), component(s), or part(s) that contain a PBT chemical. 
  • Include a detailed description of the location of the PBT chemical.
  • Indicate whether the part or component is used for B2B or B2C products or in manufacturing/industrial applications.
  • The percentage of PBT-containing article/component/part compared to the total amount of similar article/component/part. (For example, are all cables in your product line made using this chemical or just certain types of cables?)
  1. Functionality
  • Function of PBT chemical in the article/component/part (e.g., plasticizer, flame retardant, adhesive/sealant).
  • Is there an industry standard or specification that requires this function for this article/component/part?  Please list and provide links to standards/specifications. If yes, does the standard/specification require the use of the PBT chemical specifically?
  1. Concentration
  • The concentration (parts per million) of the PBT chemical in the article/component/part. Please provide information for each level, if available (e.g., article vs. component vs. part). (A range can be provided.)
  1. Exposure
  • Assessment or likelihood of consumer exposure to the PBT chemical via the article.
  • Assessment or likelihood of worker exposure to the PBT chemical during processing. Are there workplace health and safety programs in place?
  1. Releases
  • Is the PBT chemical released into the environment during the manufacturing process or use of the PBT-containing part or component in the industrial setting?
  • Assessment or likelihood that the PBT chemical is released into the environment during manufacturing of the article/component/part?  During routine/normal use?
  1. Alternatives
  • The name of the chemistries that are used or that are available for use as an alternate for the PBT chemical in the article/component/part.
  • The concentration (parts per million) of the alternative chemical(s) in the article/component/part. (A range can be provided.)
  1. Please provide detailed information on what occurs at each stage of the chemical phase out process.
  • Procurement and Assessment of Substitute Parts with Suppliers (6 months)
  • Internal Quality Assessments (3 months)
  • Quality and Safety Certification (6 months)
    • Include a listing of the quality and safety certification standards to which articles are certified).
    • If possible, provide a letter from the certifying body confirming the certification timeline.
  • Supplier Coordination and Manufacturing Changes (6 months)
  • Shipment, Import and Distribution in US (3 months)
  1. Please provide additional information regarding known or expected impacts to the supply chain if the PBT chemical is prohibited and no longer available for domestic processing and distribution including in articles.

Additional Resources