Select your country/region in the menu or by clicking on the world map *
Country Selector Alternate Image

Sustainable Development & Foundation


        Global Frequently asked questions




         1. What are the banned substances, and where are they found in EEE?

        The following 6 substances are banned:
        Lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE).

        These substances are used in Electrical and Electronic Equipment:
        - Mercury: in thermostats, sensors, relays in switches and discharge lamps.
        - Lead: solder in printed circuit boards, glass in cathode-ray tubes and electric light bulbs.
        - Cadmium: switches, springs, connectors, housings and printed circuit boards. (see below for more details)
        - Hexavalent chromium: Metal coatings for corrosion protection.
        - Polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers: flame retardants in printed circuit boards, connectors and plastic covers.

        Cadmium is used by industry for numerous applications :
        - as an anti-binding agent (cadmium-plated parts have good lubricity);
        - as an anti-corrosive agent (particularly to protect connectors and fixings in conditions where electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is a critical issue;
        - as pigments and stabilisers in paints and plastics;
        - as solders.

         2. What are the thresholds below which it can be considered that a product complies with the RoHS directive?

        The thresholds to be allowed for are 0.1% by weight for lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and PBBs and PBDEs. It is 0.01% by weight for cadmium, the homogeneous material in which the substance is located.