The RoHS directive stands for "the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE)". This directive will ban the placing on the European Union (EU) market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of:
- hexavalent chromium (Chromium VI)
- polybrominated biphenyl (PBB)
- polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants
Known as Directive 2002/95/EC, it will be enforced throughout the EU from 1 July 2006. Its purpose is very clear – to restrict the use of these six substances within electrical and electronic equipment, thereby contributing to the protection of human health and the environment.
It is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) 2002/96/EC which sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods and is part of a legislative initiative to solve the problem of huge amounts of toxic e-waste.