This is a situation that is going to have large ramifications. I have been aware of these future restrictions for awhile, since my employer has a large stake involved in these decisions. The EU's decisions not only affect electronics, it also affects materials used to make everyday items. The interesting part is that there are many studies that show these chemicals and by-products they are targeting have been tested and the results show no significant harm.
The big problem with these new restrictions is that by eliminating these chemicals, most items characteristics are changed. Many companies are now going to have to spend a lot of money on R&D to comply with these regulations. I have also heard that getting exemptions is going to be extremely difficult.
Hi Barbara. Yes, that's right. They're looking specifically for socio-economic justification or proof that exposure is controlled during all phases of the chemical lifecycle if manufacturers insist on continuing to use any of these substances past the sunset date. The guidance document on how to prepare a socio-economic justification as part of an application for authorization is 260 pages long...
I happened to visit the EU Website when this was announced and read more of the edict than I usually do (mostly to make sure this was "new"--there are a lot of environmental mandates in progress overseas in various stages of implementation.) One of the impressions I came away with is, applying for an exception to this rule is going to be tough. It's not that RoHS is a rubber stamp or anything, but I think this rule leaves less room for debate or interpretation of scope than RoHS.
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