In October 2009, IPC along with its Solder Products Value Council and Environment, Health and Safety Committee submitted comments to the Canadian Department of the Environment with an in-depth analysis of how banning rosins would negatively affect the reliability, functionality and safety of all electronic products.
“Restricting rosins would have made it extremely difficult for electronics manufacturers to continue doing business in Canada. Canada made the right decision,” says Karl Seelig, vice president of technology for AIM Solder, Inc., and the chairman of the IPC Solder Products Value Council.
Rosins are key ingredients in soldering materials used in the manufacture of more than seventy-five percent of electronics products, including sophisticated defense systems and telecommunication and transportation technologies that do not have any suitable alternatives.
“The electronics industry applauds Canada for basing their decision on sound science. This decision reassures us that governments do have the capabilities to use scientific information when developing regulations. We hope that governments around the globe use Canada as an example when developing regulations that restrict substances,” says Irene Sterian, engineering manager, Celestica, and member of the IPC Government Relations Committee.
In its comments to the Department, IPC concluded that due to the unique characteristics of rosins, there are no other chemicals or combination of chemicals known that can provide the same functionality and reliability. Banning rosin would have forced a change in the composition of soldering flux and solder paste that would have ultimately affected the reliability of the final electronic product. IPC’s comments also highlighted the extremely important point that rosins have not been found to cause harm to human health and the environment and, therefore, should not be restricted.
IPC has been and continues to be a strong advocate for science-based environmental regulations. For more information about IPC’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the electronics industry, visit http://www.ipc.org/EHS or contact Stephanie Castorina, IPC manager of environmental programs, at StephanieCastorina@ipc.org or +1 703-522-0317.
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.