New Rules on PBTs Took Effect on February 5

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized five rules for persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals to reduce risks and exposures to the extent practicable. The final risk management rules became effective on February 5. Some of the PBTs have a history of use in the electronics industry. Here are two examples:

  • Decabromodiphenyl-ether (decaBDE) is a flame retardant in plastic enclosures for electronics products and in wire and cables for electronic equipment. The final rule prohibits the manufacture, import, and processing of decaBDE; prohibits its use in products and articles effective 60 days after publication of the final rule; and prohibits distribution in commerce of products and articles containing decaBDE one year after the effective date of the rule.
  • Phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) is a plasticizer, flame retardant, anti-wear additive, or anti-compressibility additive in hydraulic fluid, lubricating oils, lubricants and greases, various industrial coatings, adhesives, sealants, and plastic articles. As a chemical that can perform several functions simultaneously, sometimes under extreme conditions, it has several distinctive applications. The final rule for PIP (3:1) has particularly restrictive risk management actions including the complete prohibition of processing and distribution in commerce of this substance or products containing this substance as of March 8, 2021. There are some exceptions to the prohibition, for example for new and replacement parts for automotive and aerospace industry applications, however, there are no electronics industry exceptions. It is important that persons manufacturing, processing, and distributing in commerce PIP (3:1) and PIP (3:1)-containing products or articles be notified of these restrictions and the effective date of March 8, 2021.

If these new rules will affect the electronics products that you manufacture, please contact the IPC Government Relations team. The team facilities industry responses and communications with policymakers and we can help you to share your knowledge and expertise with the EPA.