U.S. News reports on the EU’s sweeping ROHS Directive and its effect on electronic technology companies around the globe. The Directive has triggered a wave of motion—manufacturers from the U.S., who have no federal mandate to replace the specified hazardous materials, will probably go lead-free just to survive in the market.
In the tiny trenches of your computer's processor, countless electrons race along at breakneck speed, hanging left and right turns through wires, diodes, and other doodads made partly of toxic metals. It's the kind of circuitry that industry has built for decades, without giving much thought to the environmental consequences from trace materials buried deep in electronic gizmos' guts.
But not for much longer. Tough new rules are forcing one of the biggest manufacturing overhauls in the history of high technology, with winners and losers yet to be sorted out.
Beginning July 1, the European Union will enforce a set of "green" mandates requiring all new computers, appliances, and telecommunication devices sold in the EU to be free of hazardous substances including lead, mercury, and cadmium. The EU move is meant to promote recycling and slow the buildup of hazardous substances in landfills.
Effective Jan 1, 2007, manufacturers of covered electronics under SB 20 will be required to follow similar RoHS provisions. CAW is currently sponsoring AB 2202 (Saldaña), which will expand California’s current phase out provision to virtually all electronic devices. AB 2202 is tentatively scheduled to be heard next in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on June 19th at 1:30.
What you can do:
• Send an e-mail to your Legislator asking for his/her support on this measure
• Send an AB 2202 support letter on behalf of your organization