ROHS and WEEE
There are two pieces of legislation in Europe which affect the production and disposal of electrical and electronic equipment – our products are typically incorporated into electrical equipment and therefore our customers often ask us whether we comply with this legislation.
First, the European Directive on the Restriction on the use of Certain Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (commonly referred to as “RoHS”) prevents the use of certain substances above prescribed thresholds in electrical and electronic equipment. Those substances are:
Lead – the ban on lead will lead to higher soldering and reflow temperatures. We offer a number of products suitable for lead free assembly and more information about these are available in the product section of this website.
- Hexavalent chromium
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
To the best of our knowledge, none of our products contain substances currently prohibited by RoHS.
A revised RoHS Directive has recently been brought into force within Europe which requires a further four substances to be monitored to indentify whether they should also be restricted under RoHS. Those substances are: hexabromocyclododecane, bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, dibutylphthalate, and butyl benzyl phthalate.
The revised directive will also slightly amend the definition of “electrical and electronic equipment” and amend and update some of the exemptions. Member States must bring in the necessary domestic legislation to give effect to the revised Directive by 2013.
The second piece of legislation is the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive which imposes controls upon how “WEEE” is handled and disposed of and imposes obligations on producers and retailers of electrical and electronic equipment to finance the treatment and collection of such equipment at the end of its useful life.
Some of our products contain halogen which is likely to mean that any electrical or electronic equipment which they are incorporated into will be classified as “hazardous waste” or “special waste” (the term varies between countries) and therefore additional controls may apply when this equipment is disposed of or recycled.
We are aware that the European Commission is also reviewing the application of the WEEE Directive and that this is also likely to be recast so that its scope is widened. We will continue to monitor developments in this area and review our product specifications and the information we make available to customers as necessary.