What Is RoHS?

By: CableOrganizer®

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The acronym RoHS (often pronounced “ro-hoss”) pops up frequently in connection with the electrical and electronics industries. Do you know the meaning behind it? It stands for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances. RoHS is a directive the European Union adopted in July 2006, for the purpose of protecting both people and the environment from hazardous chemicals found in electronics and electrical products.

Since July 1, 2006, all electrical and electronic products sold within the European Union are required to comply with the RoHS materials requirements. You may have heard RoHS nicknamed the “lead-free directive.” It however restricts the use of six different materials and lists their allowable levels in parts per million (ppm):


  • Lead:Lead is primarily used in the production of batteries, televisions and computer monitors. RoHS restricts the use of lead to 1,000ppm.
  • Mercury: Mercury has been used in the manufacture of fluorescent lamps, mercury- vapor lamps, printed circuitry, aluminum electroplating, thermostats and fuel cells. The RoHS directive limits the use of mercury to 100ppm.
  • Cadmium: Cadmium, which has been limited by RoHS to 100ppm, can act as a stabilizer for some plastics. It is also used in cadmium/nickel batteries, electroplating, pigment production, solders, brazing alloys, alarm systems, automatic sprinklers and nuclear shielding.
  • Hexavalent Chromium:RoHS has limited the use of Hexavalent Chromium, which is used in photography, paints, plastics and stainless steel products, to a level of no more than 1,000ppm.
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB): Polybrominated biphenyls, which are used in flame- retardants, plastic foams and certain plastics within home electrical appliances, have been limited by RoHS to 1,000ppm.
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE):Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are used in household electronics, printed circuit boards and capacitors. RoHS limits the use of PBDE to 1,000ppm.

  • Whether your application needs to be RoHS compliant or you’re just opting for healthy, environmentally friendly products, be sure to check out this great selection of RoHS-friendly solutions available at CableOrganizer®:

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