Product Environmental and Health Safety: A New Discipline

February 2019

The concept of environment and human health is a product safety issue; one for which the electronics industry (and others) currently has no rules besides those randomly provided by governments via regulation and customers or non-governmental organizations via market requirements.

We have design rules and constraints – based on industry standards – for other safety issues such as electrical safety, mechanical safety, and flammability safety which ensure the safety in these areas for users of the products. But we have a gap: toxic chemicals continue to be incorporated into products that expose users and the environment, creating health and pollution problems around the world. We have no rules or constraints that prevent the incorporation of toxic, yet unregulated, chemical substances in manufactured goods (and there are plenty). How we identify, define and implement the rules and guidelines necessary to produce product design constraints is a challenge that requires a new field, expertise that the industry does not have enough of (green chemists and toxicologists), focus and funding.

This webinar covers:
  • What is the problem? Why do finished goods manufacturers keep getting regulated in environmental and health-related areas?
  • Case Studies – Lead in solder & flame retardants in enclosures
  • The article manufacturer’s challenge
  • Recommendations


Presenter: Michael Kirschner, Design Chain Associates

Mike Kirschner is an environmental compliance, sustainability, safety and performance expert providing advice and expertise to manufacturers, governments and others. Mike helps manufacturers understand, monitor and assess environmental and health-related regulations and market requirements around the world that impact product design and the supply chain.

Mike is currently serving on the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute Advisory Board. He founded product lifecycle and environmental consultancy Design Chain Associates, LLC (DCA) in 2001. Prior to DCA, Mike spent 20 years in engineering and engineering management roles in the electronics industry at manufacturers including Intel and Compaq.

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