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RoHS just a thought

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Jun 15, 2007.

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  1. Guest


    I operate an industrial surplus reuse store site called We deal with a lot of older obsolete parts. I also run
    a company called Green Planet Solutions inc. We specialize in WEEE and
    RoHS directives and engineering support. (

    One of the reasons why I wanted to write in this message board is to
    share some information with every one as are part of the data
    collection on what we are seeing and some thing to think about.

    When RoHS and WEE were first introduced to our clients here in the US
    we saw a tendency to have a knee jerk reaction. Some clients wanted to
    buy up as many old leaded parts as they could while they tried to
    cross over to totally lead free products and processes.

    While this can be a good plan it can damage you greatly also.

    One of the first problems, among hundreds of others, is that when you
    buy up older leaded components you have no idea if your states local
    EPA laws will be changed and effect the use of your now thousands of
    dollars worth of store leaded components.

    Take for instance California EPA local prop 65. Certain fire
    retardants that are found in some electronic component packages are
    now deemed illegal for use in this state.

    Others like cadmium, among other materials, are not only restricted
    from use in the EU, but now the US is starting to adopt the EU RoHS

    Most components that are not RoHS compliant will not be able to be
    sold into the market in new products.

    Most of our stock in our is only slated to be used as
    replacement parts for products put on to the market before Jan 2006.

    In most cases we research the components to see if they are higher in
    the levels and then we send them to the proper recycling channels.

    My worry I think here is, that in most cases, companies are putting
    off this effort to change over to RoHS compliancy until the very last
    moment where they could get caught in the local EPA laws cross fire.

    What do you think?

    Mike Dolbow
  2. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    The general consensus among all the electronic enginers I know is that the whole
    lead-free thing is 100% barmy and is a solution looking for a problem.

    No-one I know wants to make equipment that will be less reliable (lead free).

    Stop to consider why the miliary, aerospace (AIUI) and certain
    telecoms/networking are exempt.

    Furthermore, the regulations (certainly in the EU) regarding documentation are
    so excessive that no small company can ever actually afford to comply fully.
    It's simply bureacracy gone totally mad.

  3. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Personally, I'm all in favor of making things kinder to the
    environment. The problem with lead-free solders,
    however, is that they are simply not an acceptable
    solution. The issue is "tin whiskers" which grow
    from the so-called solder at an alarming rate and
    can short to adjacent conductors. It's hard to
    imagine that anyone could seriously consider this
    as an acceptable replacement for leaded solder.

    My first reaction to all this was that we should just
    do a better job of diverting electronics devices from
    the landfills, and into some sort of material recovery stream.
    But these days "electronics" might be in almost anything,
    including kids' sneakers. If the RFID proponents get
    their wish, electronics will be in damn near *everything*.

    What's the answer? Biodegradeable organic conductors
    and semiconductors? Or maybe everything in one huge
    bonded ASIC that needs no solder because there's
    nothing else to connect to?

    Whatever, there is clearly a need for improvement!

    Best regards,

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Signal Generator
    Science with your sound card!
  4. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    And 'lead-free' is a negative solution

  5. Guest

    Does anyone know how this company did this introduction on there
    website. it is so awesome.
    Please contact me if you can help!

  6. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

  7. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Guest

    How about make all of the disposable consumer crap lead free except offer a
    blanket exception to allow 5% leaded solder in any product which comes with
    a 5 year or greater warranty, and up to 36% lead if the warranty exceeds 15
    years. I think that companies that offer a long warranty will put more
    thought into making the product last longer, and they should be given the
    best materials to achieve the lowest total amount of pollution (which must
    include the energy and materials that goes into making lead-free
    electronics that fails and is scrapped after a couple of years due to tin
    whiskers). The warranty would need to be backed by a pre-paid voucher on
    the appliance for shipping to the manufacturer within the warranty period
    or shipping to a proper recycling facility thereafter. It would be
    reasonable to require the manufacturer to buy insurance to protect the
    warranty service in the event that they might go out of business within the
    warranty period (as otherwise this would be a cheap get-out for
    unscrupulous companies), but any "insurance", "recycling scheme" or
    membership fees should be set at a fixed price per kilogram of electronics
    content sold, rather than the kind of annual per-company bribes /
    protection money / membership fees / WEEE registration that penalises small
    businesses and start-ups, and favours only the largest companies (and
    therefore has been implemented).

  8. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Guest

    Or another option: allow lead but tax it at 1 euro per gram. Tax it equally
    per gram of lead, whether it is in flashing on the roof of a house, in a
    car battery, in steel alloys or in solder - there is no reason to victimise
    only one industry. Give a full refund when it is recycled. The refund
    would be paid for the ingots of reclaimed alloy, and let businesses figure
    out a way of buying back the old appliances for the right price. New
    consumer appliances would mostly be lead-free or nearly so, for cost
    reasons. Recycling rates would be very high, yet expensive and important
    equipment could be built with the most reliable solder. And best of all:
    with my hoard of 60/40, I'll be rich!
  9. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    You are both proposing yet more complex laws and yet more taxes.

    If ingots were bought back at $1 a gram, imagine the amount of lead
    that would be smuggled in from China!

    The sensible thing would be to allow small amounts of tin/lead solder
    (as on component leads) and exempt industrial/small-production stuff

  10. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest


  11. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    What I laugh about is one of my vendors plugging RoHS compliant products
    to me like it's the best thing to come along. I explained to him how crappy
    it is only to be told that "that's the way it is, you can't change it".

    We'll see.
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