Thanks to REACH and RoHS we can no longer use lead-based products as a fun punch line in a movie. If a product has heavy metals in it, then the EU doesn’t want it, and if the EU doesn’t want it then you better make sure your products don’t contain it.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) does share some similarities with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), including some banned substances, but the enforcement and covered products are different. RoHS is a directive focused on electronics, and as such each country within the European Union (EU) is responsible for enforcement of RoHS and what the penalties are for any of your products that violate the directive. REACH, however, is a regulation that covers all products, overseen by ECHA, and the enforcement and penalties are the same across the EU. Also, RoHS currently sits at ten substances while REACH is at 181 substances.
The Death of Heavy Metal
RoHS was enacted in February of 2003 in the European Union (EU). This EU legislation was to restrict the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). Among the substances banned, and perhaps the most widely know is lead (Pb).
In 2017 RoHS 2 was adopted and with it came the addition of four substances bringing the list to ten. For these four additional substances, no exemptions were given. For most electronic manufacturers, these added phthalates were easy to accept since they were already part of REACH. The full list of substances are shown below:
- Lead (Pb)
- 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)
- Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)
Burden of Proof
In the case of RoHS compliance a CoC may not be all your customer wants to see. In many cases, the customer will want to see your third party test reports, and more specifically your SGS Reports. There are typically two types of testing used to prove compliance with RoHS; X-Ray Florescence (XRF) which is non-destructive, and Wet Chemical Analysis. Wet Chemical Analysis is the more accurate of the two measurement types, and as such Samtec provides its customers with the Wet Chemcial Analysis for its products. These reports can be located here.
A majority of the products that Samtec offers are RoHS compliant, but in a small amount of products we do offer Tin-Lead plating for our military and aerospace customers. You can ensure that the products you order are RoHS compliant and request a CoC off of our website. Samtec also offers Material Declarations here to help you obtain all of your needed information.