TBBPA is one of the most tested flame retardants whose health and environmental profile have been studied in depth. This is not the case for possible alternatives.
When discussing alternatives to TBBPA in printed circuit boards (PCBs), the reliability of the PCBs must be taken into consideration. The reliability of PCB’s with TBBPA has been demonstrated in 20 years of use.
TBBPA has been used for 20 years and its proven performance makes it a trusted and cost efficient substance for future innovative electronic products. Manufacturers know and can predict how this flame retardant will react to the PCB and the ABS plastic.
This is an important criterion for selecting flame retardants. A reduction in service life could have a negative environmental impact by producing electronic waste at a faster rate than it is currently generated.
Few of the commercially available alternatives to TBBPA have been through the same level of testing for their effects on human health and the environment. It should also be noted that some of the potential alternatives are themselves going through the REACH legislation, an assessment that will take a few years to be concluded.
In addition, the cost of adapting the production line to other substances should not be underestimated.