Sekisui Voltek, LLC Goes Beyond RoHS to Provide Environmentally Friendly Foams


LAWRENCE, Mass (October 11, 2006) - Sekisui Voltek, LLC, a manufacturer of closed-cell polyolefin foams, has eliminated decabromodiphenyl ether or oxide (DBDE) from all flame retardant foam grades manufactured by the company, exceeding the requirements set forth by the European Union directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) 2002/95/EC. This directive restricts the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

Sekisui Voltek, a part of the worldwide network of Sekisui companies, is a global leader in the development of cross-linked, closed-cell polyolefin foams for various applications such as appliances, telecommunications, consumer equipment, and toys, as well as leisure and sports equipment.

The family of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardant material, including DBDE, was originally restricted by the Directive. As a result, Sekisui Voltek immediately began to evaluate other materials that would comply with the directive, meet customer needs for flame retardant foam, and at the same time was safe for employees to work with.

The directive was amended in October 2005 to exempt DBDE and allow its use. This in turn would have allowed Sekisui Voltek to leave its foam formulations unchanged.

"Sekisui Voltek adheres to a corporate policy that acknowledges the utmost importance of minimizing environmental impact, providing a safe workplace for our employees, and serving our communities, both local and global," Nic Waterman, Manager, Marketing and Customer Satisfaction, said. "Even though we could continue to use DBDE, we decided it was in the best interest of everyone to find a replacement for DBDE, in essence using a stricter standard than set out in the RoHS directive."

After extensive trials and outside testing, Sekisui Voltek has been successful in replacing the original DBDE FR additive with one that is non-DBDE, safe for the employees to handle, and is not on the SARA Title III (Form R) reporting requirements. Currently all of Sekisui Voltek's Flame Retardant Foam grades are of non-DBDE chemistry.

Compliance with RoHS environmental standards for elimination of hazardous materials - such as heavy metals including lead, flame retardant materials and other carcinogenic materials - was mandatory by July 2006.

Sekisui Voltek offers three main product lines: Volara®, Volextra® and Minicel®. Within each of them, Sekisui Voltek can modify elements like resin selection, additives, foaming technologies, cross-linking parameters, density and thickness to achieve the performance parameters customers need.

For more information contact Sekisui Voltek at 100 Shepard Street, Lawrence, MA 01843. Phone: (978) 685-2557. Fax: (978) 685-9861. Or visit our web site at www.SekisuiVoltek.com.

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