IEC 62321-6/Ed.1:2015 revising analytical test methods for presence of Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in plastic parts was published by the IEC in June 2015. IEC 62321-6 replaces the previous informative test method specified in annex A of IEC 62321:2008. This test method is applicable to all EEE products and suppliers.
The standard, titled “DETERMINATION OF CERTAIN SUBSTANCES IN ELECTROTECHNICAL PRODUCTS – Part 6: Polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in polymers by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)” specifies 3 test method; one is normative and the other two are informative.
The test methods are:
- The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) (Normative);
- The ion attachment mass spectrometry (IAMS) technique (Informative) and
- The high-pressure liquid chromatography technique (Informative).
The informative test methods (IAMS and HPLC-UV) did not have sufficient accuracy and repeatability during Intra-laboratory testing trials and therefore could not be included as normative tests but they may still be useful to users and test laboratories. However, if a dispute arises over PBB/PBDE concentration, only the GC-MS method is considered a reliable test method for purposes of regulatory enforcement. Work is expected to continue in improving the accuracy of the informative test methods.
The test method standard is available from the IEC webstore and resellers.
The use of harmonized test methods has proven to be extremely important in ensuring that manufacturers, suppliers, and enforcement bodies are getting consistent results from analytical testing when performing regulatory assessments.
IEC 62321 is referenced by the European harmonized standard for RoHS technical documentation (EN 50581) as the test method that should be used for any test reports that are included in the technical documentation.
EEE Manufacturers that request test reports from suppliers should request and ensure that the revised test methods are being used (IEC 62321-1 through IEC 62321-6) instead of the original IEC 62321:2008.