Australia to ban POP chemicals used in electronics

Australia plans to prohibit the use of two toxic chemicals used in some consumer electronics.

The move would prevent the manufacture, import, use and export of electronics containing the chemicals, Dechlorane Plus and UV-328.

The two chemicals are classed as persistent organic pollutants (POP),  organic compounds that are resistant to degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes, and the Australian government has has initiated a four-week consultation over the proposed listing of the two chemicals to a register that would severely curtail their use.

Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) plans to add them to its Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management (IChEMS) register by July, 2026.

Once added the register, products containing these chemicals will be prohibited from manufacture, import, use and export, with derogations for unintentional trace contamination (UTC), time limited essential uses and disposal, and for articles (products) in use prior to the effective date of the decision.

Dechlorane Plus is used in the manufacture of some consumer electronics as a flame retardant, while UV-328 is used in liquid crystal displays (LCDs).