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RoHS Exemptions Should be for a Reason

  • RoHS
  • Indium Corporation
  • Folks,

    Now that RoHS has gone into effect, many have sent me emails seeking my agreement that their product is exempt.

    The RoHS exemption categories are 8 and 9 in the WEEE Directive. These exemptions exist for a very important reason: these devices are "mission critical" and their failure could result in serious injury or death. Other "lead only" exemptions are spelled out in Appendix 7 of the RoHS Directive. These exemptions are for critical applications such as telecommunications or server devices.

    All of these exemptions have been granted because the considered opinion of experts is that long term (say > 5 year) reliability of RoHS compliant assembly has not been demonstrated. I am sympathetic to this position.

    So only expect that your device is exempted if its reliability supports such a critical application. Hence, a consumer wrist watch, cellular phone, stud finder, volt-ohm meter, USB memory stick, etc is not what the EU had in mind when it considered exemptions.

    DR. Ron