Control of Chemical Substances Contained in Products
The tightened control of chemical substances contained in products has started from Europe and been expanded in all the countries of the world. SII has been working to prohibit or reduce the inclusion in our products of not only substances that have been banned by the laws and regulations, but also those for which there are concerns regarding their hazardous effects on human health and environment. All divisions engaged in products have established systems to promote activities to reduce their use and to prevent the inclusion in advance by performing periodic analysis and other measures.
Under the EU’s RoHS*1 directive, four phthalate esters were added as restricted substances in July 2019. SII has carried out replacement of such items with substitutes and has completed these replacements for the products intended for the EU market that are subject to the directive in May 2019, and we are also progressively carrying out such replacements for all of our products.
On the other hand, from the point of view that the exemption under RoHS Directive*1 is not permanent, we are also exploring the possibility of alternatives for some materials on a continuous basis. We continue to monitor the trend of exemption and work on developing our technology for finding alternative methods, taking into account the environmental impact and the economic perspective.
The REACH regulation*2 requires that information on substances of very high concern*3 (SVHCs) contained in products be communicated to customers and other parties, as well as notification to the EU authorities based on the quantity shipped to the EU. From January 5, 2021, in addition to the existing obligations, we will be obliged to register the concentration and safe use of the product in the database of the EU authorities. Dozens of new substances are added to SVHC every year and there are 209 substances as of July 2020.
SII continues to check their inclusion in our products, and based on the results, we will fulfill our obligations while reducing the use of SVHC and finding the substitutes.
*1 RoHS Directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products: Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+), Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE). DEHP, DBP, BBP, and DIBP have been added to RoHS Directive since July 22, 2019.
*2 REACH Regulation: The regulation describe about registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemicals in the EU.
*3 SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern): Substances of very high concern that are candidates to be listed in Annex XIV of REACH. The substances are included in the Candidates List.