RoHS just a thought

I operate an industrial surplus reuse store site called We deal with a lot of older obsolete parts. I also run
a company called Green Planet Solutions inc. We specialize in WEEE and
RoHS directives and engineering support.
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One of the reasons why I wanted to write in this message board is to
share some information with every one as are part of the data
collection on what we are seeing and some thing to think about.
When RoHS and WEE were first introduced to our clients here in the US
we saw a tendency to have a knee jerk reaction. Some clients wanted to
buy up as many old leaded parts as they could while they tried to
cross over to totally lead free products and processes.
While this can be a good plan it can damage you greatly also.
One of the first problems, among hundreds of others, is that when you
buy up older leaded components you have no idea if your states local
EPA laws will be changed and effect the use of your now thousands of
dollars worth of store leaded components.
Take for instance California EPA local prop 65. Certain fire
retardants that are found in some electronic component packages are
now deemed illegal for use in this state.
Others like cadmium, among other materials, are not only restricted
from use in the EU, but now the US is starting to adopt the EU RoHS
Most components that are not RoHS compliant will not be able to be
sold into the market in new products.
Most of our stock in our is only slated to be used as
replacement parts for products put on to the market before Jan 2006.
In most cases we research the components to see if they are higher in
the levels and then we send them to the proper recycling channels.
My worry I think here is, that in most cases, companies are putting
off this effort to change over to RoHS compliancy until the very last
moment where they could get caught in the local EPA laws cross fire.
What do you think?
Mike Dolbow
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Well you did a nice job of spamming us. Really worked at it. I give you a 9 for effort and likely a 0 for results.
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I think the biggest problem is steel with lead in it... 12L14 for instance...
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This is a double edge sword. My company builds electronics for the military. We had concerns with the lead free requirements. Many vendors just stopped making devices with tin-lead finishes. Pure tin lead finishes scared the hell out of us with historical data on wiskering, but does not seem to be a major problem, it seems that wiskering can be stopped with good conformal coats.
Some of the BGAs are coming with high temp solder balls that don't reflow at the process temperatures we use for normal tin-lead solder. Some of our normal PWB materials cannot take the high temps required by the lead free solder.
On the whole we have held on to the processes that history has shown to provide long term reliability in our rather harsh environments. I hope the automotive, and aircraft industry are equally cautious. Let the cell phone and MP-3 player manufactures do the experiments with the new stuff.
Carl Boyd
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Carl Boyd

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