Effective October 1, 2012, QUALCOMM Incorporated completed a corporate reorganization in which the assets of certain of its businesses and groups, as well as the stock of certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, were contributed to Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of QUALCOMM Incorporated. Learn more about these changes

Product Responsibility

Respecting people and the planet as we innovate

Our social responsibility begins with our products—in the contributions they make to society and in the care we take in developing them.

Practicing precaution

Our technology enables devices that empower people and improve lives in numerous ways. Wireless technology is bringing education and opportunity to underdeveloped and remote areas of the globe. It is helping to improve transportation, reduce energy consumption, produce food more efficiently and better connect people.

As mobile technology continues to benefit society in new and often unexpected ways, companies like ours must ensure that the materials used in wireless devices don’t harm human health or the environment. That’s why we address the environmental, health and safety effects of our products. Across our Company, we practice the “precautionary principle” of identifying and taking preventative measures regarding chemicals, even in circumstances in which there is a high degree of scientific uncertainty regarding potentially hazardous chemicals. Our own policies are often more stringent than applicable law. We continuously monitor opportunities to improve our products and make them as sustainable as technically and economically feasible.


of our products are subject to our environmental management system or our various programs for eliminating hazardous substances.

We also apply the precautionary principle to the products added to our portfolio as a result of acquisitions. Our 2011 acquisition of Atheros Communications and 2012 acquisition of Summit Microelectronics greatly expanded our portfolio of integrated circuit (IC) products. We assessed those products to ensure that they comply with all applicable laws and also meet our standards for environmental and social responsibility.

Making our products lead-free

The health and environmental hazards of lead are well documented. We have been proactive in removing lead from our products for more than a decade. Following our successful and proactive introduction of lead-free flip-chips in 2010, we now incorporate lead-free design in all new IC products, whenever technically and economically feasible.

Our lead-free innovations


We began exploring lead removal from our IC products, well ahead of European regulation.


We became one of the leading IC makers to introduce lead-free chip-scale package products.


The European Union’s Restriction on Hazardous Substance (RoHS) Directive, restricting lead in electrical and electronic equipment, took effect.


We introduced several lead-free flip-chip IC products.


We incorporate lead-free design into new IC products, whenever technically and economically feasible.

Hazardous Substances we don't use

We began prohibiting and restricting the intentional use of certain hazardous substances in our semiconductor business’ integrated-circuit product design in 2003. Today our list of prohibited or restricted substances has grown to include 29:

  • Antimony
  • Asbestos
  • Azo compounds
  • Brominated flame retardant and chlorinated flame retardant
  • Bromine
  • Cadmium and cadmium compounds
  • Chlorinated paraffins (CP)
  • Chlorine
  • 4,4’-Diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA)
  • Diarsenic pentoxide (As205)
  • Diarsenic trioxide (As203)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hexabromocycododecane (HBCDD) and all major diastereoisomers
  • Hexavalent chromium compounds
  • Lead and lead compounds
  • Mercury and mercury compounds
  • Mirex (perchlorodecone)
  • Organic tin compounds (tributyl tin, tributyl tin oxide and triphenyl tin)
  • Ozone-depleting substances
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS)/Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
  • Polybromobiphenyls (PBBs)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs)
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and PVC blends
  • Radioactive substances
  • 5-tert-butyl-2, 4,6-trinitro-m-xylene (Musk xylene)
  • Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA)

In addition to the substances we’ve prohibited for use in our products, we strive not to use the EU REACH Substances of Very High Concern candidates or the regulated substances listed in the Joint Industry Guide (JIG-101 Ed. 4.1) in the manufacture of our products.

Eliminating Bromine and Chlorine

Although the law does not prohibit the use of all brominated and chlorinated compounds in our products, we have been proactive in eliminating them because of the potential hazards they pose.


We incorporated bromine-free mold compounds.


All new IC products began incorporating a bromine/chlorine-free package design.


We converted a number of high-volume legacy products to bromine/chlorine-free designs, including our single-chip solution and MSM7xxx Series products.


We have extended bromine/chlorine-free design to our non-IC products, including our embedded Gobi 3G module for notebooks and netbooks. All new Gobi designs are bromine-free and chlorine-free.

Complying with regulations

We strive to comply with all applicable laws wherever we do business. Among the ways we comply:

In 2012, we had no fines for noncompliance with laws and regulations concerning the provision and use of our products and services.
Taking action to support DRC conflict-free mineral sourcing

Thinking Ahead

Bringing greater transparency to mineral sourcing

In 2010, the U.S. Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), which required the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue rules requiring certain companies to disclose their use of “conflict minerals”—tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten—that originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries. In 2012, the SEC adopted rules requiring such companies to disclose their use of such minerals. Companies, including ours, will be required to report on their use of conflict minerals beginning in 2014.

We want our products to be DRC conflict-free. Even before the enactment of Dodd-Frank, we began working with peers and suppliers to develop systems to assist the electronics industry to be able to produce products without minerals that benefit armed groups in the DRC or adjoining countries whose activities are linked to human rights violations and environmental degradation. To produce DRC conflict-free products and comply with the SEC rule mandated by Dodd-Frank, we have: