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The Restrictions of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive (2011/65/EU)
Who does it affect?

Manufacturers, sellers, distributors and recyclers of electrical and electronic equipment containing lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls or polybrominated diphenyl ethers. This Directive covers the same scope as the Directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The new directive also applies to medical devices and monitoring and control instruments.


The Directive aims to protect human health and the environment by restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in new equipment; and compliment the WEEE Directive.

Key Elements

From July 1, 2006 new electrical and electronic equipment must not contain more than .1% lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and not more than .01% cadmium. These must be replaced by other substances.

Certain applications are exempt from the requirements of the Directive including mercury in certain types of fluorescent lamps, lead in the glass of cathode ray tubes, electronic components and fluorescent tubes, lead in electronic ceramic parts and hexavalent chromium as an anticorrosion of the carbon steel cooling system in absorption refrigerators. The exemptions will be reviewed every four years.


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