BFR/PVC Cables & Wires HDP-iNEMI Whitepaper

Halogens, and more specifically Bromine (Br) used as a flame retardant (BFRs) and Chlorine (Cl) used as a flame retardant and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), have been alleged to have a negative toxicological impact on human health and the environment in some studies. As a precautionary principle, many electronic manufacturers have publicly adopted initiatives to phase out the use of BFRs and PVC to potentially minimize the impact on the environment.

The transition towards halogen free in electronics is dependent on commodity types. Certain commodities have drop-in replacement substances while others are challenged with performance, cost and availability. One type of commodity the industry continues to struggle with is PVC replacement on flexible cables and wires. Due to performance and safety requirements, the cable industry is challenged to find a robust and cost effective PVC replacement.

To better understand if PVC alternatives are holistically more environmentally preferable than traditional PVC, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is needed to assess other environmentally impactful attributes.

As a result, to address industry wide interest on PVC alternatives, two projects were initiated by iNEMI and HDPUG to address these areas. Both of these projects were chaired by Dell Inc.