issue: August 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine
China Boosts Environmental Standardization Through IEC
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by Viloet Han, China Correspondent
Programs are underway globally to restrict the use of the hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment
Programs are underway globally to restrict the use of the hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, including Europe’s RoHS, U.S. directives on restrictions of hazardous and harmful substances and China’s Management Measures for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products.
Another initiative started as a proposal by the Standardization Administration of Italy to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to set up a Technical Committee on Environmental Standardization for Electrical and Electronic Products and Systems (TC111). IEC/TC111 was officially established in October 2004 and China has joined in several of the committee’s working groups.
According to Jiang Wenbo, secretary general of the Environmental Standardization Workgroup of National Electrical and Electronic Products and Systems, the Chinese delegation has put forward six detailed proposals to IEC/TC111.
In its first proposal, China suggested the group drawing up standardization should be widely representative and include developing countries. A period of transition should be left in the use of restricted substances in electrical and electronic products, and developed countries should provide technical and financial support to developing countries.
China’s second proposal addressed “the detection program of restricted substances in electrical and electronic products.” China suggested that procedures for dismantlement should be established to ensure consistency and comparability of detection results between different test labs. The chairman and secretary of TC111 Workgroup 3 suggested that the China delegation draw up the framework principle of carrying out the “dismantlement of samples” and submit it for discussion at a future conference.
China’s third proposal stressed the need for clearly and detailed definitions of “homogenous materials.” Without a clear and detailed definition, negative results would arise from different interpretations.
China’s fourth proposal addressed problems it found in “the measurement program of restricted substances in electrical and electronic products.” For example, inconsistency of measurement results could arise from the influence of differences in the standard materials used and the difference in the methods of materials preparation.
China’s next proposal addressed Japan’s proposal of establishing an “Environmental Conscious Design” (ECD) standard. China said that, in order to create a truly international standard of ECD, certain steps should be taken, including: establishing straightforward and practical technical specifications; recommending ECD instruments; and stressing the importance of recycling.
China’s last proposal called for a “Producer’s Material Declaration for Electrical and Electronic Products and Systems.” The proposal was submitted to the Standardization Administration of China (STA), which is scheduled to present it to TC111 as a national proposal. The committee has indicated the Chinese proposals would be under consideration.
Jiang Wenbo notes that, to address concerns from relevant parties in China, China also drew up 10 environmental standards for electrical and electronic products and systems, including:
• Procedures for the Determination of Levels of Regulated Substances in Electrotechnical Products
• General Requirement of Dismantlement and Detection for Harmful Substances in Electrotechnical Products
• Basic Requirement of Composition and Content Figuring Methods of Harmful Substances in Electrotechnical Products
• Detection of Regulated Substances of Lead, Mercury and Cadmium in Electrotechnical Products
• Detection of Regulated Substances of Hexavalent Chromium in Electrotechnical Products
• Detection of Regulated Substances of PBB and PBDE
• Rapid Filtration and X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy of Hazardous Substances of Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Chromium, and Bromine in Electrotechnical Products
• ECD-Introducing Environmental Aspects in the Design and Development of Electrotechnical Products
• ECD of Electrotechnical Products and Systems
• Calculation and Evaluation of Recycling and Recovery Rate in Electrotechnical Products.
The 10 standards are currently under development and most are expected to be submitted to the Standardization Administration of China by the end of 2006.