Lead-Free/RoHS > RoHS Banned Substances

Sure, they call it "Lead-Free," but being RoHS Compliant is about so much more than just Getting the Lead out! It's about ensuring that your products are free of a number of substances, including Lead. Below you can find all of the "Lead-Free" and RoHS Compliant facts as they stand today.

Lead is restricted under the RoHS directive Cadmium is restricted under the RoHS directive Mercury is restricted under the RoHS directive Hexavalent Chromium is restricted under the RoHS directive PBBs are restricted under the RoHS directive PBDEs are restricted under the RoHS directive
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Banned Substances under the RoHS directive - As of July 1, 2006

The RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive established by the European Union calls for the near elimination of 6 chemical substances used in most electronics and electronic equipment. Each restricted substance has been given a Maximum Concentration Value which determines the maximum amount of each substance that will be allowed in order for that product to be determined to be RoHS Compliant.

RoHS Restricted Substances - Maximum Concentration Values

Lead: 0.1%

Cadmium: 0.01%

Mercury: 0.1%

Hexavalent Chromium: 0.1%

PBBs: 0.1%

PBDEs: 0.1%

Want more Information on the 6 RoHS Restricted Substances?

Their uses are only outnumbered by their hazards. Learn more about the substances that the RoHS directive is targeting.

LEAD - (MCV) 0.1%

  • Lead has been in regular use for thousands of years and can be found free in nature
  • Lead is used to make Solder, Alloys, PCBs, Batteries, Pipes, Paint, X-Ray Shields, Petrol and Insecticides
  • Nearly 1/3 of all Lead used in the U.S. is obtained through recycling efforts
  • The Ancient Romans used Lead to make water pipes which contributed to their decline
  • Exposure to Lead causes Reproductive and Kidney damage and has been linked to Anemia

CADMIUM - (MCV) 0.01%

  • Cadmium is available as a foil, granules, pellets, powder, rod, shot, sticks, wire and as "mossy cadmium"
  • Cadmium is used in Solder, Alloys, Ni-cd Batteries, Television Tubes, Semiconductors and more
  • Cadmium is a highly toxic, soft bluish-white metal that is easily cut with a knife
  • Cadmium is similar to Zinc
  • A characteristic "scream" can be heard when bending a Cadmium bar

MERCURY - (MCV) 0.1%

  • Mercury accumulates in the human body, entering through the skin, digestive tract or respiratory system before causing death
  • 1/2 of the World's supply of Mercury comes from Italy and Spain
  • Mercury conducts electricity
  • Mercury can be combined with other elements to form useful compounds
  • Mercury can be found in Thermometers, Barometers, Streetlights, Flourescent Lamps, Advertising Signs and other Scientific Instruments


  • Hexavalent Chromium is widely considered a potential lung carcinogen and can irritate the nose, throat, lungs and eyes with even minimal exposure
  • Hexavalent Chromium is used to make Spray Paints, Chrome Plating, Chrome Coatings, Stainless Steel and more
  • Stainless Steel welding presents the greatest exposure risk to Hexavalent Chromium


  • PBBs are man-made chemicals that are added to plastics to make them more difficult to burn
  • The U.S. ceased PBB production in 1976, but they still exist in our Air, Soil and Water because they do not degrade easily or quickly
  • PBBs can accumulate in nature and work their way up the food chain
  • Humans are exposed to PBBs most often by ingesting contaminated food and water
  • Conclusive evidence on the exact effects PBBs have on humans is lacking but exposed people have complained of Nausea, Abdominal Pain, Loss of Appetite, Fatigue and Joint Pain


  • PBDEs are a family of flame-retardant chemicals
  • There are 209 different kinds of PBDEs
  • PBDE levels in wildlife, soil samples and humans have been doubling every 2 to 5 years
  • PBDEs negatively affect Memory & Learning, Behavior & Development, Thyroid Hormones, the Nervous System and Sexual Development
  • PDBE usage and contamination levels are highest in North America

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