Chemicals Management

With our longstanding belief in the precautionary principle, eliminating and minimizing the use of hazardous substances in our products and production processes has been one of our priorities since the start of our environmental activities more than three decades ago. It’s also an important part of our EcoDesign process.

Philips Regulated Substances List
Philips maintains a Regulated Substances List (RSL) for products which includes substances:

  • banned by law or by Philips
  • whose use need to be monitored due to regulatory requirements or
  • whose use Philips wants to monitor from a precautionary point of view.

The Regulated Substances List (RSL) is part of the Philips Terms of Reference for suppliers. All suppliers are required to comply with the RSL.


The RSL is updated regularly in a way to ensure it includes the same substances as BOMcheck. Philips and a number of other large electronics companies developed BOMcheck as an industry platform that standardizes the way in which companies collect chemical composition information from their supplier. Philips also asks its suppliers to provide compliance declarations to the RSL via BOMcheck.


The RSL contains a number of substances which Philips wants to phase out from a precautionary point of view, despite the fact that there is no regulation yet which requires us to do so. Those substances are also included in the RSL to ensure our suppliers comply with Philips requirements. Below are some examples of voluntary phase-out.

Examples of voluntary phase-out of chemicals in products

Polyvinyl Chloride and Brominated Flame Retardants
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a polymer with properties that make it suitable for many applications. Brominated flameretardants (BFR) are widely used in electronic products as a means of reducing the flammability of the product.


There are potential environmental side effects of both PVC and BFR for instance due to unsafe recycling and disposal which cause widespread concern.


Therefore Philips banned PVC from product packaging in the mid-1990s. In 1998 Philipsbegan proactively restricting the use of flame retardants polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominatedbiphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in many product categories anticipating the EU RoHS legislation.


In 2008 Philips made a public commitment to phase out the use of PVC and BFR from consumer products, and started with a number of pilot projects to replace PVC and BFR. In 2010, Philips launched the first PVC and BFR free and EISA awarded 42” Econova LED-tv (42PFL6805). In 2010 Philips also lauched its comprehensive PVC/BFR free policy, committing ourselves to their phase out in new consumer products placed on the market after January 2011. This has already led to a large number of PVC/BFR free product ranges such as Oral Healthcare, vacuum cleaners and shavers.


The electronics industry very much relies on the use of PVC and BFR containing plastics, and sometimes their use is mandated in technical, safety or regulatory standards. Despite these challenges, Philips remains committed to its ambitious roadmaps to make PVC and BFR free consumer products across its entire spectrum of electronics devices.

Phthalates and antimony
As part of the Philips PVC/BFR free policy, Philips is also phasing out the use of phthalates and antimony compounds for consumer products. Phthalates are found in PVC and antimony trioxide is used as a synergist of brominated flame retardants. The phase out of PVC and BFR will therefore also contribute to the phase out of phthalates and antimony trioxide.


Arsenic and antimony in glass
Philips has restricted the use of arsenic and antimony in lamp glass from 2008 onwards.


Where technologically feasible Philips has restricted the use of beryllium in our products.

Chemicals management in manufacturing processes

Philips has an extensive list of dangerous substances which we ban or control during production processes. Philips has developed a classified list of substances, which are substances regarded as very dangerous for which Philips bans their use in our manufacturing operations. These policies and the list of classified substances are available for download at the right side of this page.


At Philips we take a proactive stance regarding REACH, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances.

Supplier Sustainability

The Philips Regulated Substances List is part of our Purchase Agreements. This is an important element of our Supplier Sustainability Involvement Program.
+ Read about sustainability on the supply management website