What Is It?
A world-wide move is on to remove lead and other hazardous materials from electronic products. The European Parliament & Council created a Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive (2002/95/EC) which bans certain “hazardous substances from electronic equipment sold in Europe.” To meet RoHS compliance, companies have until July, 2006 to remove the following substances from the products they sell in Europe:
- Lead (Pb)
- Mercury (Hg)
- Cadmium (Cd)
- Hexavelent Chromium (Cr + 6)
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
- Consumer equipment
- IT and telecom equipment
- Toys, leisure & sports equipment
- Household appliances
- Automatic dispensers
Note: Certain industries, such as medical and defense, are exempt from RoHS compliance by the July 2006 deadline.
It’s Not Just In Europe
The move to eliminate hazardous substances from circuit boards and other electronic products is gaining momentum. In addition to the RoHS Directive in Europe, the following countries and various states in the United States are also planning to adopt similar standards.
- China - Regulation for Pollution Control of Electronic Products - July 2006
- Japan - JEITA Lead-Free Roadmap - end of 2005
- California - RoHS-equivalency measures - January 2007
There are also other states in the United States, such as Arizona, and other countries that are evaluating the regulations.
- IPC Lead-Free Website for Surface Mount Technology Assoc. (SMTA)
- CALCE Lead-Free Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDIC)
- SMART Group NEMI PB-Free Initiatives
Lead-Free / RoHS Services
Turn to Screaming Circuits for assembly of circuit boards that meet Lead-Free and RoHS standards.