Unauthorized environmental products are a reality. Failure to know and understand their restriction, compliance, or non-compliance can result in costly fines.
A company based in Kitchener, Canada was fined $265,000 for violating Canada's Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. They were fined for importing and marketing aerosol products containing ozone-depleting substances known as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (“HCFCs”). These products were used to clean printed circuit boards. The fines were imposed on past imports the company was known to have controlled.
The company pleaded guilty to the charge.
The product was apparently a contact cleaner that contained the environmentally harmful HCFCs and was specifically used to clean PCBs. It highlights the importance of environmental compliance – not only in PCB fabrication, but also in their maintenance.