EU – A New RoHS Exemption for DEHP in Certain Rubber Components Used in Engine System

​DEHP is added to rubber material as plasticizer in order to provide flexibility. The rubber components are used as flexible connections between parts of engine systems, and assure prevention of leakage, sealing of engine parts and protection from vibration or dirt and fluids over the lifetime of the engines. Currently, there are no DEHP-free alternatives available on the market which would provide sufficient level of reliability for applications in engines where long life and special properties such as resistance to any contact material (e.g. fuel, lubricant oil, coolants, gases, or dirt), temperature and vibration are required. Due to the lack of reliable alternatives, a substitution or elimination of DEHP is still scientifically and technically impracticable for certain rubber parts used in engine systems. The requested exemption is consistent with Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council and thus does not weaken the environmental and health protection afforded by it. It is, therefore, appropriate to grant the requested exemption by including the applications covered by it in Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU with respect to electrical and electronic equipment of category 11 of Annex I to Directive 2011/65/EU. In Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU, the following entry 43 is added: “Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in rubber components in engine systems, designed for use in equipment that is not intended solely for consumer use and provided that no plasticised material comes into contact with human mucous membranes or into prolonged contact with human skin and the concentration value of bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate does not exceed: (a) 30 % by weight of the rubber for (i) gasket coatings; (ii) solid-rubber gaskets; or (iii) rubber components included in assemblies of at least three components using electrical, mechanical or hydraulic energy to do work, and attached to the engine. (b) 10 % by weight of the rubber for rubber-containing components not referred to in point (a).” For the purposes of this entry, “prolonged contact with human skin” means continuous contact of more than 10 minutes duration or intermittent contact over a period of 30 minutes, per day. It applies to category 11 from May 1, 2020, and expires on July 21, 2024.