RoHS Directives

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      Directives2002/95/ECon the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment and2002/96/ECon waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are designed to tackle the fast increasing waste stream of electrical and electronic equipment; as such, they complement European Union measures on landfill and incineration of waste. They call for increased recycling of electrical and electronic equipment, which will limit the total quantity of waste going to final disposal. Producers will be responsible for taking back and recycling electrical and electronic equipment, providing incentives to design electrical and electronic equipment in a more environmentally efficient way. Consumers will be able to return their equipment free of charge. In order to prevent the generation of hazardous waste, Directive 2002/95/EC requires the substitution of various heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium) and brominated flame retardants such as polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)) in new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market beginning 7/1/2006.


Interpretations of the terms"Green," "Lead Free" and " "RoHS Compliant"

Green: Some manufacturers such as Texas Instruments (TI) use "green" as a way to indicate more than just that their product is simply RoHS compliant. TI uses "green"” to indicate that their component is free of hazardous materials beyond the six included in the RoHS directive. The term "green" is also widely used by manufacturers in a variety of industries to indicate that the process used to manufacture their product is environmentally friendly. In this context, the term has nothing to do with RoHS compliance.
Lead Free: Sometimes this term means RoHS compliant, sometimes not. Semiconductor companies have naturally started using the term "lead free" to indicate that their parts are RoHS compliant simply because lead is the only substance on the RoHS list of hazardous substances used in semiconductor parts. So the industry is saying that once they removed the lead, their components automatically became RoHS compliant.
RoHS Compliant: This term specifically means that a part meets the requirements of the European Union's restriction of hazardous substances. RoHS Compliant parts can actually contain trace amounts of lead, mercury or any of the six banned substances as long as they are below the maximum level allowed by the directives.


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