The EU RoHs Directive took effect on 1 July 2006 and is required to be enforced and become law in each member state. The directive restricts the use of six hazardous substances in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment destined for consumer use

The directive bans anyone from placing on the EU market (whether manufactured or imported) electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in which any homogeneous material contains more than the tolerated maximum concentration values (MCVs) of six substances:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Cadmium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls
  • Polybrominated dipenyl ether

The tolerated MCV for each substance is 0.1% or 1000ppm, except for Cadium which is restricted to 0.01% or 100ppm. RoHS applies to large and small household appliances, IT and telecommunications equipment, consumer equipment and toys, leisure and sports equipment.

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Some items of EEE are exempt from restrictions on the use of hazardous substances; such as military and space equipment, certain medical equipment and large industrial tools.