Some researchers have suggested that phthalate compounds may have toxicity on reproductivity yet a risk assessment report by a Japanese research institute does not recognize such hazard actively. And phthalates are not currently prohibited under any law that applies to chemical substances used in electronics products. In our assessment of environmental impact, Panasonic couldn't detect the elution of phthalates from materials and components containing PVC, such as coating of cables used in electrical and electronic products, and impacts to human health tabulated from a detection limit did not reach a level of concern. However, some phthalate compounds are prohibited under the toy directives in EU according to the precautionary principles. Since phthalate is mainly used as softeners in flexible PVC plastic, we are trying to reduce or eliminate it for all products by promoting PVC reduction activities.
Antimony is currently essential to protect consumers and to minimise the risk of flammability in some electronic products by using as the anti-flammability assisting agent, primarily as antimony trioxide because it can enhance BFR's flame-retardant effect.
As explained above, we are trying to create more BFR-free products, and we will continue to reduce an amount of Antimony use with the BFR elimination activities.
Regarding beryllium, concerns to the hazards of beryllium come from the hazardousness of beryllium oxide. Though some spring materials that Panasonic uses contain beryllium copper alloy, no Panasonic product contains beryllium oxide.
Despite our ongoing reviews for potential substitutes for beryllium copper alloy, we have yet to find a feasible substitute in that beryllium copper is effective in promoting eco-consciousness through lighter and smaller products. However, only a few manufacturers produce beryllium copper alloy in the world. We understand that beryllium oxide, which is the substance that causes pulmonary berylliosis, is used as a raw material but is produced in a closed process and poses no risks of exposure.