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Hazardous materials

It is always advisable to avoid the use of hazardous materials.  The introduction of the European RoHS directive has lead to a ban on the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.  The more recent introduction of the European WEEE directive has requires that in addition to the substances banned under RoHS, companies have to ensure that components such as; batteries, printed circuit boards larger than 10cm², toner cartridges, and cathode ray tubes are removed from products before they are disposed of, because of the containing toxic materials that they contain.  The list of chemicals worth avoiding is getting longer and longer.  “Volvo have very useful black and grey lists which give exact details of compounds to avoid, and also have a white list which shows better alternatives” [1]. 

[1] Datschefski, E., Materials Choice. 2004.

Updated November 2006, V.A.Lofthouse