1. About RoHS
The RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment) Directive for
electrical and electronic equipment states that
by July 1, 2006 most equipment sold in the EU must be essentially free of six substances: lead, mercury, cadmium,
hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
2. What are the Hazardous Substances restricted by RoHS?
The RoHS directive requires that manufacturers be able to demonstrate minimal levels of the following identified
These substances are a risk to human health. They are a health hazard when disposed of and to those who dispose them.
- Lead (Pb) - 0.1% (1,000ppm)
- Hexavalent chromium (Cr +6) - 0.1% (1,000ppm)
- Mercury (Hg) - 0.1% (1,000ppm)
- PolyBrominated Biphenyl (PBB) - 0.1% (1,000ppm)
- Cadmium (Cd) - 0.01% (100ppm)
- PolyBrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) - 0.1% (1,000ppm)
3. Where are Hazardous substances used?
- Lead - Solders, active and passive components, terminations, printed circuit board coatings, glass.
- Cadmium - Electroplating, plastic materials, sensors, NiCd batteries.
- Mercury - Batteries, switches, sensors, relays, fluorescent lamps, etc.
- Hexavalent Chromium - Chrome, coatings.
- PBB-PBDE - Flame retardants.
4. What is the difference between RoHS compliant versus lead-free?
Lead-free is usually interpreted as having no lead components.
RoHS restricts the use of lead to < 0.1% wt. of homogeneous substance.
There are exemptions for high temperature internal solder, lead in glass in electronic components, etc.
5. Link to EU RoHS file
Requirements of the Directive is listed in the following web site to allow manufacturers to have a brief understanding
of the requirements.