Hazardous Chemical Substance Management

Chemical Substance Management

By using environmental friendly materials at product design phase, we not only drive the industry upgrade in the supply chain, but also improve the reuse value of and applicability of product wastes, facilitating the new material cycle.

As an international brand of electronic products manufacturer, ASUS upholds the idea of producer responsibility and supports the preventive approach mentioned in the Rio Declaration of United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) by not only securing compliance to global environmental regulations, but also voluntarily managing the chemicals harmful to humans and environment in order to reduce environmental impacts of the products.

ASUS Hazardous Chemical Substance Management Milestone

Hazardous Chemical Substance Management

To safeguard human health and the environment, ASUS uses all chemical substances carefully. We follow regulations that control their use, formulate technical standards that strictly require our suppliers to forbid their use. ASUS defines a hazardous chemical substance as a material characterized by persistent, bio-accumulative, toxic, carcinogenic, or mutagenic features, as well as possible reproductive toxicity or environmental hormone disruption.

Regarding hazardous chemical substances management, ASUS is committed to meet the regulations of international chemical substances as the primary goal. All ASUS products manufactured since 2006 met the requirements by RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2002/95/EC). Besides Pb, Cd, Hg, Cr6+, PBBs, and PBDEs restricted by RoHS, we also manage Ni, PVC, TBBP-A, ozone depleting substances, radioactive substances and other harmful substances. When the substitute is available, we will gradually restrict the use of PVC, BFR, CFR, Be, Sb, and Phalates.

In order to comply with EU REACH Directive which went effective in 2007, ASUS takes the manufacturer responsibility for disclosing the information of SHVC in our products. Please click HERE for the related information.

According to our Precautionary Policy for Green Design, we control the hazardous substances from sources - that is, of the enormous supply chain. To improve efficiency, we use eGreen platform, SRM, for component approval process and ask our suppliers to provide the third-party test report along with the hazardous substances warranty letter. This could efficiently manage our green supply chain and ensure our green quality.

ASUS' Halogen-Free Declaration

The halogens or halogen elements are a series of nonmetal elements from Group VIIA of the periodic table, and the halogenated compounds such as Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) and Chlorinated Flame Retardants (CFRs) are widely used as the materials of the parts for electronic products, as the gluing technique, or as flame retardant for its effectiveness and economic advantage.

However, if end of life products containing BFRs or CFRs are not properly treated and recycled, they will release dioxin and furan during the incineration process. Dioxin compounds are stored in biological fat, are hard to be metabolized, and will be cumulated through the food chain, thus leading to biological genetic damage and even causing cancer.

According to the recent scientific researches, many halogenated compounds are proven to be potentially harmful to the human and the environment. Among the halogenated compounds, Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) may interfere with brain development and is carcinogenic, thus they are listed in EU RoHS Directive. In addition, TBBP-A (Tetrabromobisphenol-A) is one kind of BFRs and is used in the electronic products for its effectiveness and economic advantage, but it could pose great destructive impacts to the ecosystem. Another halogenated compound Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is very popular worldwide for its convenience, stable characteristic and low price. Nevertheless, the plasticizer (phthalate) added during using stage will interfere with biological endocrine, and dioxin and hydrochloride produced by incineration at the disposal stage could cause serious environmental pollution.

Based on the precautionary principle, ASUS has defined many halogenated compounds such as BFRs, CFRs, TBBP-A and PVC as hazardous substances and includes them into our internal standard "Hazardous Substance Free Technical Standard" and formulated "Halogen-Free Technical Standard" according to IEC-61249-2-21, which define the allowance concentration of halogens as followed: 900 ppm max for Cl, 900 ppm max for Br, and 1500 ppm max for total halogens.

ASUSTeK has formulated "ASUSTeK GreenASUS Halogen-Free Technical Standard" in 2008 and encouraged our suppliers replacing halogen flame retardant with low environmental impact substances such as nitrogen compounds, phoshorous compounds, hydrates. We have phased in halogen-free on components with high risk, such as PCB laminate, plastic parts greater than 25g, and cable assembly. In 2009, we had introduced some halogen-free sample models to the market. Beginning from September 1, 2010, all newly purchased components, except system modules, PCBs, connectors and cables that still possess technical difficulty and are not economical viable, need to compile with halogenfree policy. ASUSTeK is committed to continuously increase the proportion of halogenfree components used in new products if alternative technologies are feasible and the technologies will not affect product performance, quality, health and the environment. We seek continuous increase of at least 3% annually, preferably 5%, with the goal of more than 85% halogen-free components by 2020.

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Other Chemical Substances Management

According to ASUS Precautionary Policy, we not only banned substances that restricted in global regulation such as RoHS and REACH, but also controlled any substance that pose a threat to human health or the environmental. ASUS hold to a rigorous standard of environmental compliance as GreenASUS HSF Technical Standard to remove and replace toxics further and include them in our supplier contracts.

Beryllium is Alkaline-earth metal and belongs to Group IIA of the periodic table. The substitutes are not found yet for its good metallic characteristic. Beryllium oxide has good performance in electrical physics, thermal physics and mechanical properties, so it is important to the use of electronic products. However, beryllium has an adverse impact on the human body during exploitation or waste disposal. In animal experiments, beryllium and its compounds is carcinogenic and toxic. ASUS had listed beryllium as Level 1 restricted substance, which meant immediately prohibit of usage, by early 2013.

Antimony belongs to Group VA of the periodic table. Antimony trioxide is used for flame retardant. It is very popular in the market for its good characteristic and thus is difficult to phase out in a short-term. However, it could stimulate the respiratory and gastrointestinal and is toxic, and it is also a carcinogenic substance. In early 2013, ASUS had listed antimony as Level 1 restricted substance, but with exemption in certain parts.