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Workshop to Assist U.S. Manufacturers in Meeting EU Directive on Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment

New York, Aug 25, 2005

With the ever-increasing use of consumer electronics worldwide comes the inevitable “e-waste” that accumulates when computers, mobile phones and other devices are discarded. Many types of electronic equipment are made with some elements that can be hazardous to humans and the environment when they become garbage; in response, certain regulations have cropped up restricting their use and disposal. U.S. industry must comply in particular with directives issued by the European Union (EU) that have impending deadlines. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a workshop October 5-7 to assist U.S. manufacturers and their supply chain in meeting environmental regulations that restrict the use of hazardous substances in electronics and a wide range of consumer products.

The EU Directive on Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) restricts lead (widely used in solder), mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium (used to inhibit corrosion), and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants (in plastic housings of electrical appliances). The RoHS initiative is a requirement for electronic products shipped to the European Union effective July 1, 2006.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) is a related mandate that sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods. Both directives are part of a legislative initiative to reduce the huge amounts of toxic e-waste being produced and released into the environment.

The goals of the NIST workshop are to assess the measurement and standards needs of industry as they respond to the restrictions, and to collaboratively produce a plan that addresses international standards issues and helps U.S. manufacturers to access the global market.

The meeting will be designed to give industry representatives the opportunity to work with NIST to create a plan of action to address RoHS and other pending regulations. Sessions will include invited presentations followed by panel discussions. The participants will include manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as those providing analytical services. Discussions will cover both test methods and declarations of composition.

The Restricted Substances in Materials: Testing and Reporting Procedures Workshop will be held at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, MD, October 5-7, 2005.

The workshop is organized by NIST's Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Technology Services, and Building and Fire Research Laboratory.

For more information and registration information, click here.

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