RoHS, phthalates, Directive, DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP,PVC, plasticisers

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EU: Are you ready for RoHS 2 phthalates requirement?

JULY 2019 - Relevant for: Electrical and Electronics

The RoHS 2 Directive (2011/65/EU)1 restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). RoHS 2 recasts the original RoHS Directive (2002/95/EC) and has been in force since 2 January 2013.  Currently, lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers are listed in Annex II as restricted substances. From 22 July 2019, RoHS 2 will cover more EEE and the new restriction of phthalates will apply.

Scope extension – Category 11: Other EEE not covered by any of the categories
The RoHS 2 Directive classifies EEE into 11 categories. Category 11 will fall within the scope of RoHS 2 from 22 July 2019. Examples of category 11 are shoes with LED lights, exercise steppers with an electric counter, electronic sofa, etc. These products will be subject to RoHS 2 requirements as electricity is required to meet one of the intended functions.

New phthalates requirement
Back to June 2015, four phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP) were added the list of restricted substances in Annex II of RoHS 2 through an amendment by Directive (EU) 2015/8632. Phthalates are widely used as plasticisers (plastic softeners) in mainly polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics which can improve flexibility, elongation or workability. The limit of the four phthalates is 0.1% by weight (each).  

This new restriction will apply from 22 July 2019 for product categories 1 to 7, 10 and 11. Medical devices and monitoring and control instruments are allowed for a longer period of time for adaptation until 22 July 2021.

Table A shows the effective dates of the phthalates restriction depending on the categories.

Table A. Corresponding phthalates effective dates of Category 1-11

Product Category

Effective Date

Category 1 – Large household appliances

22 July 2019

*Note: DEHP, DBP, BBP are exempted for Toys in Category 7 as these substances are already restricted under REACH.


 
 

Category 2 – Small household appliances

            

Category 3 – IT and telecommunications equipment

Category 4 – Consumer equipment 

Category 5 – Lighting equipment 

Category 6 – Electrical and electronic tools

Category 7 – Toys, leisure and sports equipment 

Category 8 – Medical devices

22 July 2021

Category 9 – Monitoring and control instruments including industrial monitoring and control instruments

Category 10 – Automatic dispensers

22 July 2019

Category 11 – Other EEE not covered by any of the categories above

Abbreviation: 
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP);
Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP);
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP);
Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP).

 

[1] RoHS 2 Directive (consolidated version released on 21 November 2018)

[2] Directive (EU) 2015/863 – New restricted substances (Phthalates)

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