RoHS 2 Directive

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Although it has been in force since January 2013 (and a law since July 2011) we thought we’d issue an update on this latest regulation regarding Advantech’s compliance status.

RoHS 2 (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2011/65/EU) is an evolution of the original directive from 2006 to “improve the regulatory conditions and clarify the legal position”. It covers the same basic restrictions on the use of six materials to reduce the quantity of toxic waste with electronic items but now also includes medical devices which must be compliant by July 2014:

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Hexavalent Chromium (Cr6+)
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB)
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE)

Cadmium is found in many pigments, batteries and photocells in night lights. Mercury is used in lighting applications and automotive switches. Hexavalent Chromium is used for metal finishes to prevent corrosion where as PBB and PBDE are flame retardants used in plastics.

One criticism of RoHS is the restriction of Lead and Cadmium does not address some of their most prolific applications, while being costly for the electronics industry to comply with. Specifically, the total Lead used in electronics makes up only 2% of world Lead consumption, while 90% of Lead is used for batteries (the battery directive requires recycling and limits the use of Mercury and Cadmium but not Lead). Another criticism is that less than 4% of Lead in landfills is due to electronic components or circuit boards, while approximately 36% is due to leaded glass in monitors and televisions.