Filed under: EU Regulation/Legislation, RoHS/WEEE | Tags: lead, mercury, WEEE/RoHS
A series of exemptions to Directive 2011/65/EU – the Restrictions on the use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive – have been published by the European Commission.
These exemptions, which cover uses of lead and mercury in electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market within the EU, allow for these toxic metals to be used in specific applications as no feasible substitutes for their use have yet been developed.
The series of Commission Delegated Directives – numbered from 2014/69/EU to 2014/76/EU allow for the following uses of these metals:
- lead in dielectric ceramic in capacitors for a rated voltage of less than 125 V AC or 250 V DC for industrial monitoring and control instruments
- lead in micro-channel plates (MCPs)
- lead in solder in one interface of large area stacked die elements
- lead in solders and termination finishes of electrical and electronic components and finishes of printed circuit boards used in ignition modules and other electrical and electronic engine control systems
- lead in platinized platinum electrodes used for conductivity measurements
- lead used in other than C-press compliant pin connector systems for industrial monitoring and control instruments
- mercury in cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) for back-lighting liquid crystal displays, not exceeding 5 mg per lamp, used in industrial monitoring and control instruments placed on the market before 22 July 2017
- mercury in hand crafted luminous discharge tubes (HLDTs) used for signs, decorative or architectural and specialist lighting and light-artwork
The exemption for mercury in cold cathode fluorescent lamps (Commission Delegated Directive 2014/75/EU) is of particular interest as it includes a quantitative limit which can not be exceeded. The accurate determination of mercury is still challenging for many analytical laboratories, and this may be an area where the development of a Certified Reference Material for mercury in such products is needed to assist manufacturers and regulatory laboratories enable this level not to be exceeded.
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