may have noticed this new acronym popping up on some of our products.
RoHS stands for Restrictions on Hazardous Substances, and it's a
directive that could have a huge impact on the production and disposal
of consumer electronics. First adopted in Europe in 2006 (and later
adopted in California in 2007), RoHS restricts the use of six dangerous
substances in lots of common electronics. According to the official
RoHS compliance Web site (www.rohs.eu),
the RoHS symbol indicates that "new electrical and electronic
equipment put on the market does not contain any of the six banned
substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, poly-brominated
biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), in quantities
exceeding maximum concentration values."
While some military and medical equipment is exempt from RoHS compliance,
the electronics governed by the standard are among the most common
you’ll find in your home, from radios to MP3 players to cell phones
and (increasingly) computers. In practical terms, the standard protects
factory workers at the production level, sharply reducing their
exposure to hazardous substances. The standard also has a profound
impact on the disposal and recycling of electronics, in that disposed
substances will no longer have at least six of the most hazardous
chemicals formerly found in electronics, and recycled electronics
will not expose workers to toxics as they harvest components.
The Official RoHS Directive