ICSR (Soldering and Reliability) Conference Proceedings

Solder Pastes and Their Marine Pollutant Hazards

Authors: Michel Hachey, Ph.D.
Company: MG Chemicals Ltd
Date Published: 5/19/2015   Conference: ICSR (Soldering and Reliability)

Abstract: Traditionally, solder pastes have been shipped as nonhazardous products, but based on available scientific evidence and the latest GHS regulatory criteria, most electronic solder pastes should be classified as dangerous goods due to their marine pollutant hazards. While solder wires and bars made of lead or silver alloys are not classifiable as marine pollutants due to their low solubility, the smaller particle sizes used in solder pastes are more readily bioavailable. This increased bioavailability reaches toxic levels for most solder paste blends used in the electronic industry.

The latest regulations take particle size effects and the composition of the surrounding aqueous media into account in arriving at aquatic toxicity endpoints. The trend toward finer metal powders and nano-scale technologies is triggering greater aqueous toxicity hazard levels. This trend has unintentional consequences, yielding additional regulatory challenges and costs.

Key Words: 

solders, environmental compliance, pollutant

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