Understanding Halogen

 

What are halogens?

Halogens are a family of chemical elements that include:

Name Symbol Found in...

Fluorine

F

toothpaste
hydrofluoric acid (etch glass)
chlorofluorocarbons (blowing agents for spray cans)

Chlorine

Cl

disinfectants
pesticides
bleaching agents
organic chlorides used in manufacturing of plastics and polymers (PVC and neoprene/rubber)

Bromine

Br

film for photography
disinfectants
pesticides

Iodine

I

table salt
dyes
specialized soaps
lubricants
photographic film
medicines
pharmaceuticals

Astatine

At

treatments for cancer

Why is it important to understand halogens?

Halogenated compounds are the materials of choice today for cabling insulation and electric components due to:

  • Abundance of raw materials on the market
  • Relatively low material costs
  • Desirable product properties

Environmental groups are pushing to remove potentially toxic compounds from products, driving the electronics industry to exclude halogens from electronics manufacturing.

Items used in electronics manufacturing that may be labeled with barcodes include:

  • Films
  • Connectors
  • Adhesives
  • Electronic components
  • Poly vinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Cables (data & communication)
  • Mechanical plastic parts
  • Vibration dampening parts
  • Printed circuit boards

Why is halogen-free important?

While halogens do not cause harm to humans or the environment in the form contained in electronics, they can be harmful during a fire involving electronics or after disposal of electronic equipment.

Fire

  • Releases toxins that can be harmful to people
  • Releases corrosives that can damage electronics

Disposal (incineration at the end of a product's life)

  • Releases dioxins and furans (highly toxic compounds that are environmental pollutants & carcinogenic) into the atmosphere
  • Dioxins and furans have been shown to be present in increasing levels in soil, ground water, and humans
  • Uncontrolled disposal in developing countries

DNP Understands

DNP understands the impact halogen-containing products have on the electronics industry, and therefore, the thermal transfer ribbon industry. We continue to modify our formulations so they stay current with market demands. The latest star in our halogen-free lineup is the R510HF Ultra Durable Resin.

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