One of many topics discussed at China RoHS annual conference receiving support and interest in further talks from OEMs and MIIT 5 Institute’s Luo Daojun
A hot topic at the conference opened up many new discussions on the applications of flame retardants in E&E products. Noted by several industry experts, presentations detailed the misperceptions and facts about the relationship between Flame retardants and the environment concerning water, toxic gas and dioxin.
Regarding non-halogen, speakers emphasized that it is simply a marketing term used by many companies intending to brand themselves “green” and “caring for consumers,” though, in fact, “non-halogen” does not necessarily mean “less hazard to people and environment.” As with any chemical, the eco-friendliness of any specific fire safety chemical must be determined on a case-by-case basis. No broad category (halogen, non-halogen, mineral…) can be said to be “more green” than another. Small changes in molecular structure can have substantial impact on the persistence, toxicity and bio-availability of any chemical technology.
The point was echoed by the MIIT 5th Institute in its presentation. The presentations generated enormous discussions among the audience. Many OEMs agreed that non-halogen should not be misused as green label. Some said that the discussions could be a good starting point to rethink the non-halogen trend and find a sustainable way that will benefit all rather than being bound by the unreasonable term.
Luo Daojun from MIIT 5th Institute stood by the presenters on this issue saying that these years of work are rewarding, especially with a reputable partner with quasi-governmental background. Luo Daojun is a director of the 5th Institute and is a key drafter of China RoHS.
Regarding China RoHS, the standard is now being reviewed and will cover more categories in addition to IT products. It is likely that the future will be on par with the EU RoHS.
The RoHS catalogue will not cover new products in near future. The MIIT seeks to “test the water” by introducing a voluntary certification system regarding hazardous substances detection before China Compulsory Certification (CCC) is applied. It caused much debate because many members think they are not involved in the policy making process while are only notified after the decision was made. Current situation shows again that China RoHS will be very different from EU RoHS in procedures and working model.