RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) was introduced back in 2003 at the European Union. RoHS is concerned with reducing the effects of electronics on the environment, and with the health of people using those electronics. Its purpose is to make electronic products safe for both consumers and manufacturers.
RoHS (also called Directive 2002/95/EC ) is a restriction on the usage of hazardous materials found in, or used in the making of, electronic products. Since July 1, 2006 all products produced in, or coming from EU countries, must first pass the RoHS guidelines before being sold.
Restrictions under RoHS
Restricted materials banned under RoHS includes lead (Pb), Polybrominated Diphenyl ethers (PBDE), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent Chromium (CrVI), Cadmium (Cd), Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB), and four different phthalates which includes DEHP, BBP, BBP, and DIBP.
RoHS is important because it protects the welfare of consumers, manufacturers, and the environment. It also prevents the harmful effects of chemicals on our health and surroundings. Also, due to the introduction of certain chemicals since the 20th century, consumers and manufacturers seemed to not truly understand the dangers of such chemicals.
Companies Affected by RoHS
Companies that produce electronic products such as cell phones, and any businesses or resellers that sell these electronic products directly in EU countries, are subject to the restrictions regarding these materials. Also, those companies in European countries importing electronic gadgets to other countries also need to abide by RoHS.
Product Tests under RoHS
For the screening and verification process of the electronic products, portable ports analyzers are used, such as X-ray Fluorescence and XRF Metal Analyzers.
RoHS and WEEE
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (also known as WEEE) is the directive related to the collection and recycling of waste coming from electronic equipment. As RoHS covers the restrictions on the usage of dangerous chemicals, WEEE relates to maintaining cleanliness in regard to the hazardous substances used in making electronic products.
RoHS is beneficial for people, companies, manufacturers, and for our environment.
For the People:
- RoHS helps in reducing the dangers of chemicals in every electronic product that people use
- RoHS also helps to protect workers in electronic companies from getting sick as a result of dangers from the materials.
For the Companies/Manufacturers:
According to a blog about the benefits of RoHS to electronic companies, the benefits are the following:
- 15% said that because of RoHS their company gained market share
- 25% improved their company supply process because of RoHS
For the Environment:
- The end of wastes from hazardous substances
- Protection of the environment for the future
Overall, not only companies or manufacturers are protected from the hazards of the materials or chemicals mentioned above, but consumers are also. With this, consumers need to make sure that what they buy, especially electronic products, has been cleared and passed by RoHS.
Therefore, in order to follow the guidelines given by the EU regarding RoHS, we must be very careful of what we produce, purchase, and consume. After all, those who are really affected by the dangers of these hazardous substances are us – the people! In addition, our environment is also suffering from the waste products resulting from the use of these dangerous chemicals.