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18 The PCB Magazine • March 2015 The Austrian Environment Agency on be- half of the Commission developed the first draft of the methodology and identified substances used in E&E for future evaluations. The Com- mission is now organising a working group of stakeholders to finalise the last stage of the methodology. Each substance will be evaluated on an individual basis, taking into account all existing science. Both Member States and the Commission can nominate substances TBBPA has been identified as a substance for future reviews under the RoHS as it is used in electronic and electrical equipment. VII. Flame Retardants and the Future Neils Bohr famously said "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Fire safety will surely remain a primary requirement for electronic and electrical equipment. In or- der to ensure fire safety there will be a need to incorporate flame retardants to plastic systems forming part of such electronic and electrical equipment that would otherwise pose a signifi- cant fire safety risk. Halogenated materials form by far the larg- est group of flame retardants used in PCB ma- terials with a global estimated market share of greater than 80%. In Europe the figure is esti- mated to be nearer to 95%. UL have recognized that traditional FR-4 [11] materials have evolved in recent years and now represent a diverse family of materials. In rec- ognising this, for testing purposes UL have now divided the FR-4 category into two sub-catego- ries, FR-4.0 and FR-4.1 [12] (Figure 5). The new UL classifications of FR-4.0 and FR- 4.1 divide the materials into brominated and non-halogen, respectively. There is no clear scientific evidence based driver to restrict the use of halogenated flame retardants. Legislation under REACH and RoHS II should be expected to apply rigorous scien- tific methodology in assessing risks to human health; such studies to date have not raised con- cerns about the continued use of halogenated flame retardants. Performance requirements are driving PCB materials suppliers to develop materials for high-speed applications whilst improving electrical and thermal reliability. However, ul- timately consumer choice is also a driver and may well play into the market vector of high speed and high reliability requirements. PCB References 1. EuroSafe, Injuries in the European Union, Report on injury statistics 2008-2010, Amster- dam, 2013 FIRE RETARDANCy: WHAT, WHy, AND HOW continues Feature figure 5.

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