The disposal of halogenated materials and their effect upon the environment is becoming a topic for consideration amongst both non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and consumers. How can manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) ensure their products can be defined as ‘low halogen’?


Halogens are a group of chemically related substances that create salts when they react with metals. Principal halogens used in EEE include fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br), and iodine (I).

Halogens are contained in polymers and other organic materials, specifically polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). These are utilized in various EEE applications, including those where flammability resistance is an important characteristic.

Industry Initiatives

The EEE industry is seeking to answer the concerns raised by consumers and NGOs by voluntarily developing reliable and cost-effective alternatives to halogenated materials. Ideally, the use of ‘low halogen’ materials will eliminate these concerns, but it is not currently a well-defined term for all EEE and does not have an international consensus standard.

The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) defines the Term ‘low halogen’ as:

  • All printed board (PB) and substrate laminates shall meet Br and Cl requirements for low halogen as defined in IEC 61249-2-21 and IPC-4101B:
    • Chlorine (Cl) < 900 ppm
    • Bromine (Br) < 900 ppm
    • Cl and Br combined < 1,500 ppm
  • For components other than printed board and substrate laminates:
    Each plastic within the component contains:
    • Chlorine (Cl) < 1,000 ppm (if the Cl source is from CFRs or PVC or PVC copolymers)
    • Bromine (Br) < 1,000 ppm (if the Br source is from BFRs)

SGS Solution

To help answer the concerns of consumers, the EEE industry is moving towards the use of ‘low halogen’ materials in its products. SGS offers halogen testing for both homogenous materials and complex products with a medium detection limit of 50 ppm for each halogen (F, Cl, Br, I) with reference to EN 14582.

We offer a range of services to the EEE and luminaire industries, enabling manufacturers to gain full access to global markets. With a global network of specialist laboratories, we are ideally positioned to help manufacturers meet their goals. Learn more about SGS Luminaires Services.

For more information, please contact:

Tomislav Krolo
Customer Service Consultant CRS Non-Food – E&E
t: +49 6128 744 594