Expanding RoHS? Uniform U.S. standard favored, one survey says

Congress should enact an RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) law to create one compliance standard for the U.S., a recent poll by a major electronics distributor indicates. California enacted a RoHS-like law in January; other states may follow with variations. Newark InOne conducted the survey on its Website over a three-month period during fall 2006.

02/01/2007


Congress should enact an RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) law to create one compliance standard for the U.S., a recent poll by a major electronics distributor indicates. California enacted a RoHS-like law in January; other states may follow with variations. Newark InOne conducted the survey on its Website over a three-month period during fall 2006. The European Union’s RoHS directive, which took effect July 2006, restricts the amount of lead and five other substances that can be used in electronic and electric equipment sold in EU countries.

The poll was launched in response to a warning from the distributor’s president, Paul Tallentire, that California’s RoHS-style rule, now in effect, sets a dangerous precedent if other states also decide to create their own regulations. “Increasing and varying state-by-state rules are already causing unnecessary complexity for electronic manufacturers and distributors who must try to track and meet them all,” said Tallentire. “Are we going to wait until we have 50 state laws with 50 flavors before we enact a uniform national standard for our industry?”

Tallentire also cited global competition as an imperative influence. “China RoHS takes effect in a few months,” he noted, “and its intent is to ensure that its own manufacturers can continue to export electronic goods to the EU and the rest of the world. Are the stakes any less for U.S. manufacturers?”

Results of the poll found 1,028 (65%) clicking “yes” and 478 (30%) saying “no” when asked about the creation of one U.S.-wide law; 78 (5%) said they were “unsure.” Respondents are reported to be primarily engineers and component buyers.

Newark InOne’s RoHS Express Website also contains information on the topic, including compliance guides and updates on U.S. and Canadian green laws.

www.newark.com





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