The RoHS directive came into force in 2006 and has had a large impact on the electronics industry. Most categories of electronic products are required to meet the requirements of RoHS, with the primary requirement being the use of lead free components, circuit boards and solder. The widely feared reliability issues have not come to pass, although one ironic side effect of the RoHS regulations is around 8% higher energy usage when manufacturing electronic products, due to the higher soldering temperatures required for lead free solders.

Some categories of products are exempt from RoHS, largely because of reliability concerns when the regulations came into force. However the RoHS regulations are being and will continue to be reviewed, with the removal of exempt categories and the expanding of their scope expected. It is likely that RoHS will place restrictions on more substances in due course and one of the factors affecting this is the shipping of e-waste to counties like India. It is still very common for developed world countries to ship their e-waste overseas where it is processed in very unsafe ways. Roadside fires to extract the precious metals from e-waste is common, causing the release of very harmful chemicals. Therefore the RoHS regulations are likely restrict the use of substances in the future that may appear to be unnecessary and excessive in the developed world, but will be deemed necessary to protect those in the less developed world at the end of a products life.

The latest review proposals to RoHS are than medical, monitoring and control instruments will fall within the scope of the RoHS Directive starting from 2014, with vitro diagnostic medical devices in 2016 and industrial monitoring and control instruments in 2017.

We always design products to be RoHS complaint.

RoHS Enforcement Team
We benefit hugely from resources on the web so we decided we should try and give back some of our knowledge and resources to the community by opening up many of our company’s internal notes and libraries through mini sites like this. We hope you find the site helpful.
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