What Is RoHS?
The definition and aim of the RoHS directive is quite simple. The RoHS directive aims to restrict certain dangerous substances commonly used in electronic and electronic equipment.RoHS is often referred to as the “lead-free directive,” but it restricts the use of the following six substances:
- Lead (Pb)
- Mercury (Hg)
- Cadmium (Cd)
- Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+)
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)
When will the the directive be in effect and enforced?
As of July 1, 2006 all electronic and electrical products put on the European market must comply with EU Directive 2002/95/EC. There are no exceptions for pre-existing inventory which means that manufacturers products must be compliant before the July 1, 2006 cut off date.
RoHS Training Seems to Be Effective in UK
Chris Smith heads the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML), which is in charge of RoHS enforcement in the UK. Smith recently told the media 99 percent of products examined by the NWML are meeting 99 percent of the requirements. This means that since the RoHS directive came into action in the EU in July 2006, the majority of companies are complying with the directive.
According to Smith, most companies who have not been compliant have become so after only some RoHS training. Only a few firms have had to be prosecuted in order to ensure compliance. Smith notes that the most common faults in UK companies tend to be higher-than-permitted levels of hexavalent chromium and unacceptably high levels of lead in plastic components. NWML determines RoHS compliance using documentation and a screening system which includes the use of a metal analyzer as well as other equipment.