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Does the desiccant used by the company in shipment violate regulation?

Latest Updated:05/01/2009

Question:

I've heard that silica gel is being regulated due to its environmental impact. Does the desiccant used by Renesas Electronics in shipment packaging violate this regulation?

Answer:

No, our desiccant does not violate this regulation.
These days, a cobalt-free silica gel is available, but the previous desiccant we used did include cobalt chloride, which is regulated by an EU directive (67/548/EEC, 2003/34/EC) (although not by the RoHS directive).
Because cobalt chloride became a regulated substance, since 1993, Renesas Electronics has been using DESI PAK, a desiccant made from natural minerals (hygroscopic clay) instead of silica gel.
The hygroscopicity of the materials in DESI PAK easily exceeds the requirements of both the MIL standard (D-3464E) and the JIS standard (Z-0701). DESI PAK has also been registered on the United States' QPL (Qualified Products List) as a government-procurement product. The chemical composition of DESI PAK also complies with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)'s GRAS (generally recognized as safe) designation, meaning that it will cause no harm if consumed by accident.
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