1. What are the banned substances, and where are they found in EEE?
The following 6 substances are banned:
Lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE).
These substances are used in Electrical and Electronic Equipment:
- Mercury: in thermostats, sensors, relays in switches and discharge lamps
- Lead: solder in printed circuit boards, glass in cathode-ray tubes and electric light bulbs
- Cadmium: switches, springs, connectors, housings and printed circuit boards. (see below for more details)
- Hexavalent chromium: Metal coatings for corrosion protection
- Polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers: flame retardants in printed circuit boards, connectors and plastic covers
Cadmium is used by industry for numerous applications :
- As an anti-binding agent (cadmium-plated parts have good lubricity)
- As an anti-corrosive agent (particularly to protect connectors and fixings in conditions where electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is a critical issue
- As pigments and stabilisers in paints and plastics
- As solders
2. What are the thresholds below which it can be considered that a product complies with the RoHS directive?
The thresholds to be allowed for are 0.1% by weight for lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and PBBs and PBDEs. It is 0.01% by weight for cadmium, the homogeneous material in which the substance is located.