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Management of Chemicals in Products

In addition to ensuring proper management of chemicals contained in products, Toshiba Group also promotes communication of information on such chemicals in order to minimize risks to human health and the global environment.

Initiatives for the management of chemicals contained in Toshiba Group products

With a view to achieving the goal of minimizing risks involved in the use of chemicals in accordance with the precautionary principles, which was proposed and adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD*1) and other conferences, Toshiba Group has been promoting initiatives to eliminate the use of specified chemicals, to reduce the amount of chemicals contained in products, and to use substitute materials. Toshiba Group manufactures and sells a wide range of product group, from electronic parts (e.g., semiconductors and hard disks) to home appliances (e.g., refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners), audio-visual products (e.g., PCs and TVs), and social infrastructure products (e.g., medical equipment, transformers and weather radars). Various chemicals are used to manufacture these products. In recent years, regulations on the management of chemicals have become increasingly strict in countries around the world. For example, the EU revised the RoHS Directive*2 in January 2013 and the restriction of certain hazardous substances was expanded to all electric and electronic products. Furthermore, from July 2019, four kinds of phthalate esters (DEHP, BBP, DBP, and BBP) will be categorized as RoHS-prohibited substances, and a total of 10 kinds of chemicals will be designated as prohibited substances.

Under the European REACH regulations, aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other chemicals will be added as restricted substances. We are collaborating with local environmental divisions (in China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the U.S.) to gather information on the latest trends in global chemical regulations.

Also, to ensure legal compliance, Toshiba Group revised the Toshiba Group Green Procurement Guidelines on February 1, 2015 alongside the Toshiba Group Environment-related Substance List. We will add the four kinds of phthalate esters and aromatic hydrocarbons as rank-A substances (rank A: prohibited substances) with a view to ensuring legal compliance.

Toshiba Group Environment-related Substance List
Category Definition
Rank A
(Prohibited Substances)
Substances whose presence is prohibited in procurement items (including packaging) in the Toshiba Group. Substances whose use in products (including packaging) is prohibited or restricted by domestic and foreign laws and regulations.
Rank B
(Managed Substances)
Substances whose environmental impact should be reduced, based on their actual usage, via reduction of use and substitution, or recovery and detoxification in a closed system.

Due to industry trends and other circumstances, details of the management of chemicals (substances managed, management levels, threshold values, etc.) may differ among Toshiba Group companies.

Examples of regulations on chemicals contained in products in different countries
Examples of regulations on chemicals contained in products in different countries

WSSD: World Summit on Sustainable Development
RoHS (Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances) directive: A directive which limits the use of specified hazardous substances in electrical and electronic devices

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Promoting use of alternatives to PVC/BFRs

Results of FY2014 and future initiatives

In the Fifth Environmental Action Plan, which started in FY2012, we set a goal of using substitute materials to replace polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs)*3 contained in products across a total of 80 product groups in FY2015. In FY2014, we reduced the use of PVC and BFRs mainly in lifestyle products and achieved our goal for 54 product groups, exceeding the goal of 50 product groups (see the examples below).

When replacing PVC and BFRs with alternatives, it is important to assess the reliability of alternative materials to maintain product quality. Toshiba Group has developed a technology for assessing the reliability of cable Bending durability in order to facilitate replacement of PVC/BFRs with alternatives. More specifically, we use the method for testing cables shown in the photo below to evaluate the service lives of different types of cables. In particular, the results of our tests indicate that compared to conventional PVC cables, PVC-free cables vary greatly in Bending durability from one manufacturer to another. By establishing standards for assessing Bending durability for all Toshiba Group companies, we will share information on reliable PVC-free cables in order to promote use of alternatives to PVC/BFRs.

Changes in product groups covered by the PVC/BFRs substitution initiative
[Image] Changes in product groups covered by the PVC/BFR substitution initiative

Major restrictions regarding polyvinyl chloride (PVC)/brominated flame retardants (BFRs): PVC is an additive used to soften resin (generally known as a plasticizer) and is subject to restrictions in many countries.
Example 1:
Phthalate esters (DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP) in PVC: European RoHS Directive
Example 2:
Organic tin compounds (DOP and DBP) contained in PVC: European REACH Regulations (substances subject to restrictions)
Example 3:
Hazard assessments are currently performed in many countries for a variety of BFRs other than the specified flame retardants (e.g., PBDE and PBB) prohibited by the RoHS Directive.

Standardizing the method for assessing cable bending durability

[Image] Standardizing the method for assessing cable bending durability

Comparison of the Bending durability of PVC and PVC-free cables

[Image] Comparison of the Bending durability of PVC and PVC-free cables

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Case Study 2: Microwave oven

[Image] Microwave oven

Toshiba Home Technology Corporation

Toshiba ER-MD500/MD400 microwave ovens provide best-in-class energy-saving performance* and also reduce energy use by quickly preheating food at 200°C for approximately five minutes. PVC-free materials are used for the tubes that protect the inverters. Through use of water-soluble ceramic coating and other means, we reduced the amount of chemicals contained in component materials.

Annual power consumption: 52.0 kW/year (measured by the method specified in the microwave oven section of the Energy Conservation Act)
Use of halogen-free materials
PVC-free components used for high-voltage inverter lead wire protection tubes
Reduction in the use of fluorinated organic solvents
The Easy-to-remove Coating designed for square-dish ovens is a water-soluble ceramic coating. To reduce the use of organic solvents (IPA), it contains no fluorine. Stains come off easily, eliminating the need for oven sheets, thereby contributing to reducing the amount of detergent used for cleaning.
Use of lead-free materials
Lead-free solder used for PC boards

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Initiatives for communication of information on chemicals throughout the supply chain

REACH*4, the European regulations on chemicals that came into force in June 2007, mandates development of a system for effectively disclosing and communicating information on chemicals contained in parts, materials, and products throughout the supply chain. Toshiba Group has actively adopted the JAMP*5/AIS*6 format, the industry's standard survey format, to promote effective communication of information on chemicals contained in products throughout the supply chain.

To promote business activities aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of hazardous chemicals and the risks involved in using them, it is essential to obtain the cooperation of suppliers, our business partners, for those activities for which the supply chain as a whole must be targeted. We request the understanding and cooperation of our suppliers in our green procurement initiatives aimed at creating a sustainable society. We also request that they make environmental assessments and conduct research on and evaluations of the chemicals contained in the materials and parts they supply and report the results of independent assessments on their level of green procurement (according to Toshiba's standards) in accordance with ISO 14001.

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals): Regulations on registration, evaluation, authorization and restrictions related to chemicals
JAMP: Joint Article Management Promotion-consortium
AIS (Article Information Sheet): JAMP-recommended information sheet used to communicate information on chemicals contained in products

Green Procurement Guidelines

Please download a PDF file from the following link to read our Guidelines.

Due to circumstances such as industry trends, details of our requests to suppliers may differ among Toshiba Group companies and are described in the Green Procurement Guidelines issued by the office in charge of procurement of Toshiba Group companies, Toshiba in-house companies, divisions, establishments, factories, etc. For the Guidelines of Toshiba group companies, please check the following link to read.

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Case Study 1: POS terminal

[Image] POS terminal

Toshiba TEC Corp.

The M-8500 POS terminal is a product designed to reduce application standby power consumption to achieve the industry's highest energy-saving performance*. It also contains reduced amounts of chemicals (it is made of halogen-free materials and mercury- and cadmium-free parts).

Toshiba data as of February 2014
Use of halogen-free materials
Halogen-free printed circuit boards are used for approximately 50% of the circuit board area to reduce the amount of BFRs.
LED backlights are used for the main display to completely eliminate the use of mercury.
Nickel-hydrogen batteries are used instead of nickel-cadmium batteries for power outage backup to completely eliminate the use of cadmium.

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Case Study 2: Digital X-ray TV system with FPD*1

[Image] Digital X-ray TV system with FPD

Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation

The X-ray TV system Zexira DREX-ZX80 has the industry's highest level of energy-saving performance*2 and requires the least amount of space for installation (lowest test room ceiling height). PVC-free materials are used mainly for the parts that are likely to come into contact with medical technologists and patients, including the bed cover, operating table cover, and high-pressure cable duct cover (some parts excluded). The system contains reduced amounts of chemicals, including GFRP, which is difficult to recycle.

FPD: Flat Panel Detector
Toshiba data on the domestic market
Use of lead also reduced
The amount of lead for shielding was also reduced through use of the FPD system (compared to Toshiba's previous models in the same class).

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Case Study: OCR Scanner S3500

[Image] OCR Scanner S3500

Toshiba Solutions Corporation

Desktop OCR scanner with the highest speed*1 in Japan (200 B&W, A4-size horizontal sheets per minute). This product complies with the International Energy Star Program standards and has the industry's lowest level of standby power consumption. It also contains reduced amounts of chemicals (e.g., mercury, PVC and BFRs) compared to previous models.

Internal data as of July 2013
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are used as light sources to eliminate use of mercury and to extend product lives.
The design reduces the discharge of hazardous substances during incineration by eliminating use of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) for the AC cable and use of BFRs (brominated flame retardants) for the printed circuit board.

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