RoHS and Its Impact on Your Business

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, Directive 2002/95/EC, is a directive of the European Union effective as of July 1, 2006. It has wide reaching implications and its importance is growing.

What is the RoHS Directive?

The RoHS Directive restricts the use of several hazardous materials in electronics and other electrical goods. The restrictions are designed to minimize human exposure to the substances and to prevent them from ending up in landfills.

The substances restricted by RoHS are:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

Because the toxicity of lead, mercury, and cadmium have been well documented for some time, they have been phased out of uses that include human contact, such as lead paint, mercury in thermometers, and cadmium in batteries and pigments.

Hexavalent chromium is a carcinogen often used in metal plating. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used in plastics as flame retardants. PBBs and PBDEs are suspected carcinogens — they’ve been proven to cause cancer in lab mice and, as such, are assumed to cause cancer in humans.

Though each of these substances are clearly detrimental to human health and the environment, they can all still be found in many consumer products. For example, they all appear regularly in electrical components and electronics, including in appliances, lighting, electric tools, electronic toys, computers, telecommunications equipment, and more.

Hence the European Union’s RoHS directive.

Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable and RoHS

RoHSAs an industry leading manufacturer of electric cable and wire, Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable products can be found in many of the electric and electronic devices monitored by the RoHS directive. We are proud that we are able to say all of the wire and cable we produce at Consolidated is fully RoHS compliant.

RoHS compliance is important. Aside from the obvious detrimental health and environmental effects of the six restricted chemicals, it is good for business. In buying wire and cable from Consolidated, you can be sure that your products will be eligible for sale in European Union countries and in the more than 25 American states that have enacted similar chemical restrictions.