Human activities continue to harm not only the humans and animals but also the entire environment. In order to save our environment from the harmful products used in the manufacturing of electrical equipments, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive has been issued in Europe, which aims at eradicating six hazardous substances from new electronic equipments. These six substances are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated diphenylethers and polybrominated biphenyls, however they are allowed to be used in minor amounts if production is not possible without them. All the producers that come under the scope of RoHS have to ensure that whatever they are producing meet the directive’s requirements and if a product has been placed in the market, it should simply mean that it complies with it.
The equipments that come under the scope of Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive include:
- Small and large household appliance.
- Telecommunications and IT equipments
- Lighting equipments
- Consumer equipments
- Electronic and electrical tools (except large scale industrial tools)
- Leisure, sports equipments and toys
- Medical devices (except infected and implanted products)
- Automatic dispensers
- Control and monitoring instruments
- Luminaries and light bulbs in households
Responsibility of the producers
Producers are responsible to ensure that the products they are manufacturing meet all the requirements of the RoHS directive. This they have to prove through proper technical documentation and produce the necessary documents whenever asked for. The term ‘producer’ refers to several people involved in the market of the product including the manufacturer and seller, reseller and importer and exporter. In order to demonstrate their product compliance, the producers have to prove that all the components, sub-assemblies and materials used in the product are compliant to the RoHS specifications and this can be effectively done by producing a certificate of compliance from the suppliers.
NMO (the National Measurement Office) has been committed to ensure that RoHS has been in compliance in the entire UK. It is the responsibility of NMO to provide best kind of advice and information to people, work with the stake holders, support the events such as compliance seminars and be responding and accessible to any kind of queries.
Advantages of RoHS Directive
RoHS helps in reducing the damage caused to environment and people in the third world nations where most of today’s trash ends up. Use of components and solders free of lead has provided benefits to the health of workers who work in the electronics industry in manufacturing and prototype operations, thus creating a healthier environment for them to work in.
Because of the huge benefits provided by lead free products, a large number of products have been in use throughout the world including Apple iPods, HP and Dell servers and home computers, Nokia and Motorola mobile phones, Nintendo WII, Panasonic appliances and televisions and Netgear routers. Because these products are beneficial for both the environment and the people around them, their sales have been increased manifolds and that is why, more and more manufacturers are producing products that comply with RoHS norms.