Original Press Release
IPC Urges Canada to Remove Proposed Ban on Rosin
Press release date: October 2, 2009
Industry members encouraged to contact Canadian officials
BANNOCKBURN, Ill., USA, October 2, 2009 - IPC, with input from the IPC Solder Product Value Council (SPVC) and the IPC Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Committee, submitted comments today in response to Canada's Chemical Management Plan's proposal banning five rosin-containing substances from all products manufactured and sold in Canada. A key ingredient in soldering materials, rosin is used in the manufacture of more than seventy-five percent of electronics products, including sophisticated defense systems and telecommunication and transportation technologies. IPC encourages its members and the industry to join its efforts and contact Canadian Department of the Environment officials by the comment deadline of October 20, 2009.
A ban on rosin would make it difficult for electronics manufacturers to continue to do business in Canada. "Military and telecommunications manufacturers, because of their specifications requiring rosin based fluxes to ensure product reliability, would be dramatically impacted if this ban was enacted," Karl Seelig, vice president of technology for AIM Solder, Inc. and chairman of the IPC SPVC, cautioned.
In addition, consumers would likely foot the bill for the increased production cost because electronics manufacturers would have to engineer products specifically for the Canadian market. Even more likely, Canadian electronics manufacturers would consider moving operations to countries that do not ban the use of rosin, resulting in a loss of Canadian jobs.
Canada's potential ban of the five rosin-containing substances from any products manufactured or sold in Canada would cause significant negative effects on the reliability, functionality and safety of the electronic products. According to Dr. Greg Munie, IPC technical director, rosins are naturally occurring materials which possess irreplaceable chemical and electrical properties qualities that ensure a reliable, safe and long-lasting product. Due to several unique characteristics of rosin, there is no known chemical or combination of chemicals that can provide the same functionality and reliability of rosin. Therefore, eliminating rosin will force a change in the composition of soldering flux and solder paste that will ultimately affect the reliability of the final electronic product.
"Banning the use of a substance without a suitable alternative readily available is a recipe for disaster," warns Munie. "Canada will surely see an onslaught of unintended consequences that will affect all Canadians as well as companies that export products to Canada."
In a recent study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the Chemicals Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP), a risk prioritization assessment of multiple substances, including three of the five proposed banned substances, was conducted. The EPA concluded that the chemicals do not pose a hazard to the environment or human health.
To view IPC's comments to the Canadian Department of the Environment or for information on submitting individual comments, visit IPC's Web site at www.ipc.org/Canadian-Chemicals-Program. Questions should be directed to Stephanie Castorina, IPC manager of environmental programs, at StephanieCastorina@ipc.org or +1 703-522-0225.
IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 2,700 member companies which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $1.7 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; and Shanghai and Shenzhen, China.