March 26, 2019
17 December 2018 – Late October, industry media reported* that several newbuilt non-OEM cartridges had been found to contain excessive levels of Decabromodiphenylether (DecaBDE), a halogenated flame retardant that, because of its health risks, has been prohibited in the EU since 2008 in electronics above certain levels, and fully prohibited in many other products. The original HP equivalent did not contain DEcaBDE.
ETIRA, the European association of companies that remanufacture OEM-printer cartridges for reuse, recently purchased several newbuild non-OEM cartridges and commissioned tests from the German lab TüV Rheinland/LGA to see if there is a pattern.
The results showed that four cartridges had DecaBDE levels ranging from 2,000 mg/kg to a staggering 17,000 mg/kg, although only 1,000 mg/kg is allowed under the EU’s RoHS directive (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) 2011/65/EU. These four products Included Bubprint, sold on Amazon by Druckerpatronen Express, DE, and Prestige Print sold on Amazon by J&H GREENTECH and Trading Ltd, UK, (both compatible to HP17A), as well as Koala sold on Amazon by Lucky Suppliers Handels GmbH, DE and Yellow Yeti, sold on Amazon by Simple Printing Ltd, UK (both compatible to HP26X).
“These results are very worrying”, said Vincent van Dijk, ETIRA Secretary-General. “The tests showed that these were not isolated accidents, but that there is a major systemic issue in the overall market with newbuilt non-OEM cartridges from Asia that contain extremely high levels of a hazardous chemical. It is very serious that thousands of newbuild non-OEM cartridges are sold across Europe every day if many of them violate EU health and safety regulations. And a lot of suppliers even claim that they are REACH and/or RoHS compliant, which they obviously are not. ETIRA again calls on EU and national authorities to remove all hazardous cartridges from the market, and customers should refrain from buying them. “
ETIRA will further ascertain the REACH/RoHS registrations and factories of origin of these products, as well as test more products. We are also reporting many cartridge suppliers to national authorities for failure to register under WEEE.