Polyvinyl chloride and brominated flame retardants
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a polymer with properties that make it suitable for many applications. Brominated flame retardants (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 due to unsafe recycling and disposal causing widespread concern.
Therefore, Philips banned PVC from product packaging in the mid-1990s. In 1998, Philips began 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 in consumer products, starting with a number of pilot projects to replace these substances. In 2010, Philips launched the first PVC and BFR free 42” Econova LED-TV (42PFL6805) awarded by EISA. In 2010, Philips also lauched a more comprehensive PVC/BFR free policy, committing Philips phasing out these substances in new consumer products placed on the market after January 2011. This has already led to a large number of PVC/BFR free Oral Healthcare, vacuum cleaner, and shaver products.
The electronics industry relies on the use of PVC and BFR containing plastics. Sometimes their use is mandated by technical, safety or regulatory standards. Despite these challenges, Philips remains committed to its ambitious roadmaps to make PVC and BFR free consumer products across the entire portfolio of electronics devices.
Phthalates and antimony
Philips is also phasing out the use of phthalates and antimony compounds in consumer products. Phthalates are used as plasticizers in PVC and antimony trioxide is used as a synergistic flame retardant. The phase out of PVC and BFR will 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.