What Is RoHS?
In a world full of food allergens, pesticides, and genetically modified food, more and more people are checking their nutrition labels. We care so much about what goes into our body, so why shouldn’t care about what’s in the electrical products that we’re surrounded by daily? How do we know what elements are dangerous to our health? What is actually in our electrical products and what happens during the manufacturing process? This brings us to today’s topic: RoHS.
RoHS stands for “Restriction of Hazardous Substances.” The original document was developed in the European Union in 2002 to prevent the use of hazardous materials that were commonly found in electronics and electrical equipment. It listed 6 different types of hazardous materials that needed to be avoided during manufacturing.
(*ppm is “parts per million” or milligrams per liter (mg/L))
The reason why these materials should be avoided in products is because they can pollute the landfills and harm people.
With the RoHS in place, it would not allow any products that held any of these chemicals to be sold, distributed, or manufactured in the European Union or any RoHS countries.
Products That Don’t Apply to RoHS:
- High-Melting point solders
- Glass used in cathode ray tubes and fluorescent tubes
- Mercury-Vapor light bulbs
- Ceramic Components
- Certain alloys for specialized applications
RoHS was revised in 2011 adding two new requirements for the manufacturers of electronic and electrical equipment to meet. First was that the products that complied with its directive would receive a CE marking as proof.
To receive a CE marking, potential products are tested with an RoHS analyzer or X-Ray fluorescence.
Additionally, the revised document required that there be detailed bookkeeping. These books needed to go back at least ten years before they could be discarded. This was to keep better track of the supply chain in case of an investigation.
In 2015 the RoHS document was revised again due to the recognition of new hazardous materials.
4 Additional Hazardous Materials:
(*ppm means “parts per million” or milligrams per liter (mg/L))
Effects of RoHS:
Again, this document prevents the use of products containing any of the listed materials to be sold, manufactured, or distributed to the European Union or RoHS countries. For those who try to sneak by are going to have to deal with consequences that would have been easily avoided
Effects for Non-Compliance:
Even though the RoHS is going to cost you more it will be very effective in protecting the you and the environment. It is also a healthier choice for your employees who are constantly coming in contact with these products.
Can’t WEEE All Get Along?:
WEEE stands for “Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment.” WEEE takes control of the treatment, recovery, and recycling of all the electrical and electronic equipment.
Why Should I Care About WEEE?
The reason that you should care about these guys is that they work alongside RoHS, ensuring that your products pass their safety tests. If you want to sell in any RoHS countries, WEEE can assist you. To show that your product has passed they have a wheel bin sticker that is placed on the box.
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