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Restriction on Hazardous Substances

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) is the directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. RoHS restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment. It is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) which sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods.

RoHS is often referred to as the lead-free directive, but it restricts the use of the following six substances:

  1. Lead (Pb)
  2. Mercury (Hg)
  3. Cadmium (Cd)
  4. Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+)
  5. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) (flame retardant)
  6. Polybrominateddiphenyl ether (PBDE) (flame retardant)

The maximum permitted concentrations are 0.1% or 1000 ppm (except for cadmium, which is limited to 0.01% or 100 ppm) by weight of homogeneous material. This means that the limits do not apply to the weight of the finished product, or even to a component, but to any single substance that could (theoretically) be separated mechanically—for example, the sheath on a cable or the tinning on a component lead.

The directive applies to equipment as defined by a section of the WEEE directive. The following numeric categories apply:

  1. Large household appliances.
  2. Small household appliances.
  3. IT & Telecommunications equipment (infrastructure equipment is exempt in some countries)
  4. Consumer equipment.
  5. Lighting equipment—including light bulbs.
  6. Electronic and electrical tools.
  7. Toys, leisure, and sports equipment.
  8. Medical devices
  9. Monitoring and control instruments
  10. Automatic dispensers.
  11. Semiconductor devices
  12. It does not apply to fixed industrial plant and tools.

Keystone Compliance has the knowledge, experience and expertise to assist manufacturers with compliance to RoHS. Please contact us to discuss how we can assist you with your RoHS compliance needs.

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