You may have seen the RoHS compliance seal bearing the bright green check mark on some of your electrical products, or at the very least seen the certificate on our website. But, how much do you really know about the certification and what it means for the products you buy? Don’t worry. We’re breaking down the most important facts for you right now in this article.
Here are the six key things you should know:
- RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. The acronym, which is pronounced “ross”, is a compliance initiative spearheaded by the European Union to protect consumers and the planet from certain hazardous materials that are commonly associated with electrical and electronic products.
- RoHS restricts the use of 10 toxic substances. Although it’s dubbed the “lead-free directive”, RoHS goes beyond just restricting the use of lead (Pb) in electrical and electronic products. It also restricts the use of: mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (Cr6+), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP). Phthalates, which make up four of the six restricted items on the list, were recently added and won’t be enforced until July 22, 2019.
According to the directive, applicable products must contain less than 1,000 parts-per-million (ppm) for each of the restricted substances except for cadmium. Products must contain less than 100 ppm.
- RoHS compliance is good for people and the planet. All the materials restricted by RoHS are harmful to the environment and should only be disposed of with care. By prohibiting the use of these substances in electronics, RoHS helps keep toxic waste out of landfills. Likewise, prolonged exposure to these substances is toxic for the people who manufacture and dispose of products made with them. By complying with RoHS, companies help ensure the health of their employees and consumers as well as the health of the planet.
- RoHS compliance is required for CE marking. To earn the CE marking, which is required to sell any electrical or electronic product in the European Economic Area (EEA), manufacturers must comply with the RoHS directive.
- RoHS covers a wide range of electrical and electronic products. These include: large household appliances; small household appliances; IT & telecommunications equipment; consumer equipment; lighting equipment including light bulbs; electronic and electrical tools, toys, leisure, and sports equipment; medical devices; monitoring and control instruments; automatic dispensers; and semiconductor devices.
- RoHS compliance requires a variety of testing. The specific method of testing varies depending on the substance being tested. The restricted metals on the list are typically screened for using either Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP analysis) or X-ray fluorescence (XRF metal analyzers). Different testing is used for the four phthalates.
At Loctek Motion, our lifting columns have passed the most rigorous tests to achieve RoHS certification. Even the tiniest screw used to make our products meets the highest standards of the RoHS directive. That type of attention to product quality and safety is part of our ongoing commitment to protect the environment and make our products as safe and healthy as they can be for our customers.
While we’ve covered all the basics for you here, if you’re still interested in learning more about RoHS compliance, check out the RoHS Guide.