ROHS – Restriction of Hazardous Substances

The Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical Equipment and Electronic Equipment was introduced alongside WEEE as it was understood that many products containing hazardous substances would continue to be disposed of as unsorted municipal waste even after successful implementation of WEEE, and so restricting their use was necessary in order to prevent the environmental and health problems associated with their disposal. ROHS aims to ensure that “new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market [after 1 st July 2006 shall] not contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).” Though a total ban of these materials is desired, it is understood that it is not practical with current technology and so exceptions and conditions for the use of these materials shall be set. A list of applications exempt from the directive is included in the Design Guide. Individual member states shall introduce laws and penalties for non-compliance in order to enforce the directive.