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Plastics/Wire & Cable Industry Outreach in MA

Organization(s) Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance
Project Description The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) is conducting outreach to the plastics industry with a focus on the wire and cable sector. OTA has been seeking input from companies in this sector to develop a fact sheet on environmentally preferable wire and cable products. OTA’s wire and cable industry assistance effort was initiated with a meeting of a focus group on “Issues with Lead Substitutes in Compounding Operations: Environmental Challenges in the Plastics Industry” in June 2004. Interaction between OTA and the sector has continued with additional on-site visits and a large number of discussions with the staff at companies in the sector.

OTA had previously worked with this sector and produced a guidance document titled “Strategies for Streamlining Testing and Certification – Environmentally Friendly Wire and Cable.” The document offers advice to assist companies that are required to test and certify their products through Underwriters Laboratory and is available on the OTA website at http://www.mass.gov/envir/ota/publications/pdf/ul__fact_sheet_final.pdf.

The new fact sheet is being produced in response to an increased interest in environmentally preferable wire and cable products. Although there is no formal definition of environmentally preferable wire and cable, those most commonly mentioned characteristics include:

Halogen Free: Halogen free wire and cable is free of heavy metals (i.e., lead, cadmium, chromium), polyvinyl chloride, brominated flame-retardants, and fluoropolymers.

RoHS Compliant: such products are compliant with the European Union Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS). RoHS compliant products are free of lead, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium.

Lead-Free: Lead-free wire and cable is free of lead (OTA uses the RoHS de-minimus lead level of 0.1 weight percent, or 1,000 ppm, not intentionally added).

MA OTA hopes to highlight Massachusetts’ wire and cable manufacturers that make these products by listing them in the fact sheet. Further, OTA will identify relevant, category-specific products manufactured by companies on the Office’s website. No manufacturer will be given preferential treatment, and companies can be added when they qualify. Additionally, OTA plans to educate the Massachusetts Operational Services Division, the Commonwealth’s purchasing agency, on the environmental attributes of less toxic products. If successful, future contracts with the state may give preference to these products.

MA OTA is seeking input from companies that manufacture environmentally friendly wire and cable products, and the Office wants to include as many companies and products in the listing as possible.

Project Contact
Name Scott Fortier
Phone 617-626-1090
Project Keywords
Industrial Sectors Plastics & Resins Industries
Activity Keywords Research and development
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 16 No. 1, Spring 2006 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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