In 2006, the European Union passed regulation EC 1907/2006, the REACH Regulation. Beginning in 2007, the REACH regulation seeks to improve and protect human and environmental health from harmful chemicals.
What is REACH?
Laying out guidelines for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), provisions of the REACH Regulation are being gradually phased in until 2018.
Using a “no data, no market” approach, the regulation puts the onus of chemical risk management on manufacturers. In order to import goods to, or export goods from, the European Union, manufacturers are required to gather information on the chemicals they use and register it with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
The goals of REACH are multifaceted. The regulation aims to:
- Develop a comprehensive database of chemicals used in or imported to Europe
- Evaluate any ill affects these chemicals may have on human health or the environment
- Authorize approved chemicals and controls for chemicals that cause concern
- Facilitate the progressive replacement of harmful chemicals
- Restrict, limit, or otherwise ban chemicals which pose unacceptable risk
- Promote hazard assessment methods that do not require animal testing
With these aims, the REACH Regulation will fill informational gaps about the huge number of chemical substances that have been manufactured or important into the European market. This will allow the ECHA to make educated decisions about restrictions of certain substances, and consumers to make educated decisions about which products they use.
How REACH Impacts Consolidated
The European Union’s REACH Regulation doesn’t apply solely to manufacturers and importers of chemicals. It applies to every industry, manufacturer, or importer whose products contain or were made with chemicals. This includes electronics, wiring, and cabling, what we produce here at Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable.
Technically, Consolidated is not required to adhere to REACH Regulation recommendations, standards, or directives. As a company established outside of the European Union, we are actually exempt. And yet, we still put a great deal of effort into ensuring that our products meet REACH approval standards.
Why? Because Consolidated cares. The health of our staff is important to us, as is the health of end users and of the environment. The European Union’s REACH Regulation is setting important health and safety standards, and our products are only improved by our efforts to meet them.
For more information on Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable’s efforts to meet REACH Regulation standards and how it can benefit your company and your customers, visit ConWire.com today.
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:
- 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
As 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.