Fewer risks from hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment

25.07.2011 17:11

 

The ban on heavy metals and other dangerous chemicals in electrical and electronic equipment has now been extended to a much wider range of products, with new rules entering into force today. The new law will improve the safety of electronic products such as thermostats, medical devices and control panels, and will prevent the release of hazardous substances into the environment. Member States have 18 months to transpose the new rules.

The new law is a revision of the RoHS Directive on the restriction of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. It will continue to ban lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and the flame retardants Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). The previous RoHS Directive covered several categories of electrical and electronic equipment including household appliances, IT and consumer equipment, but it has now been extended to all electronic equipment, cables and spare parts. Exemptions can still be granted in cases where no satisfactory alternative is available. The list of banned substances will be reviewed on a regular basis.

The key elements of the new Directive are as follows:

  • A gradual extension of the rules to all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), cables and spare parts, with a view to full compliance by 2019;
  • A review of the list of banned substances by July 2014, and periodically thereafter;
  • Clearer and more transparent rules for granting exemptions from the substance ban;
  • Improved coherence with the REACH Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals;
  • Clarification of important definitions; and
  • CE marking denoting compliance with European norms reserved for electronic products that also respect RoHS requirements.

More information: http://europa.eu

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