RoHS review, the future of ATO

The legislation RoHS – Restriction of Hazardous Substances – is in force in the EU since 2003. The regulation restricts the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), but it also promotes their collection and recycling.

In the 2011 and in the 2017 the legislation has been updated and now the European Commission is planning to review RoHS again, with the aim to protect both human health and the environment. The complete process includes a feedback period (2018), a public consultation (2019) and a commission adoption (2020).

In particular, the new proposal concerns the restriction of some additional substances, including antimony trioxide (ATO): this substance is mainly used as flame-retardant synergist for plastic, rubber and other products. For that reason, its use is very important for the cable market because it allows a safe behaviour of the material, for example in case of fire.

Because of antimony trioxide specific properties, it is not easily replaceable at the moment and its probable future ban could have a significative impact, also on the cable industry. Therefore, it is crucial to find an alternative substance compliant with RoHS in order to guarantee the same feature in term of usage and, above all, of people safety in critical condition.  
The International Antimony Association recommends to reconsider an evaluation of ATO under RoHS and it has published a “Study to support the review of the list of restricted substances and to assess a new exemption request under RoHS 2 (Pack 15)”.

Mixer S.p.A. uses ATO to improve the fire-resistant properties of its halogenated material maintaining a very low dosage thanks to a proper synergetic additive selection.  
Do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in further development with the aim of the total ATO substitution.

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