For more than a decade, RoHS standards (“RoHS” is an acronym that stands for “Restriction of Hazardous Substances”) have been regulating the use of certain hazardous substances in the manufacturing of electronic equipment in Europe. The U.S. followed Europe down the same path and adopted RoHS directives in the years shortly after. More recently, a new RoHS directive was added in Europe, imposing restrictions on the use of the same hazardous substances that are in the original directives, but in two new categories: medical devices and control/monitoring instruments.
While RoHS started mainly because of concern about the use of lead in manufacturing, it addresses the use of the other hazardous materials in addition to lead, including cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers.
Overall, the purpose of the RoHS standards is to protect the environment. States like California say the RoHS standards were created “to limit the amounts of certain hazardous heavy metals in specific waste electronic devices so that those metals never find their way into landfills or elsewhere, where they can eventually be released into the environment.”
Some manufacturers and design engineers who work with other metal and alloy suppliers have said they find it difficult to meet RoHS standards because RoHS mandates that each component of a device must fulfill the entire RoHS directive. For example, if a single small part or subsystem in an electronic device is not in compliance, the entire device is not in compliance, which will likely result in an expensive redesign of a device.
As a stock inventory distributor of specialty metals and alloys, we’ve surveyed all of our suppliers for RoHS, and we’ve received notice from them certifying that everyone is in compliance. Therefore, the design engineers and manufacturers who work with us can rest assured that their products are in compliance when they’re designing medical equipment and electronic components made with metals and alloys they’ve purchased through us.