What is RoHS?

The Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive originally took effect in the European Union on July 1 of 2006.  The directive was designed to reduce and eventually eliminate toxic substances found in devices disposed of in landfills (often located in third world countries) that would eventually migrate into water and food sources.  In addition, worker safety is improved by eliminating the need to handle such substances.  Finally, it helps ensure that recycled materials do not contain toxic substances.  Currently the directive focuses on the elimination of these substances from commercial products:

  1. Lead (Pb)
  2. Mercury (Hg)
  3. Cadmium (Cd)
  4. Hexavalent Chromium (Cr6+)
  5. Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB)
  6. Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE)


What Devices are Included?

The directive classifies equipment and devices in to eleven categories, two of which are currently still exempt because of public safety and product lifespan issues.  Below is a list of the categories included in the current RoHS directive:

  1. Large household appliances.
  2. Small household appliances.
  3. IT & Telecommunications equipment (although infrastructure equipment is exempt in some countries)
  4. Consumer equipment.
  5. Lighting equipment—including light bulbs.
  6. Electronic and electrical tools.
  7. Toys, leisure, and sports equipment.
  8. Medical devices (currently exempt)
  9. Monitoring and control instruments (currently exempt)
  10. Automatic dispensers.
  11. Semiconductor devices
Is RoHS only for Europe?

 Note that other countries have since developed their own RoHS directives with varying degrees of toxic substance exclusion – most notably:

  • China – Order 39
  • Japan – J-MOSS
  • South Korea – Act for Resource Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles
  • Turkey – their own RoHS directive
  • North America – California - EWRA


D. R. Joseph Inc.’s Policy on RoHS

While the equipment sold by DRJ currently falls into exempt RoHS Category 9, we feel it is important to be ahead of the effort to reduce toxic substances found in the industrial control equipment we provide to our customers.  We started in 2006 by eliminating all lead based soldering.  This was a significant effort because it required retooling our soldering stations and retraining employees on how to solder with higher heats required for silver based soldering without damaging the equipment.  We had to overcome higher than normal internal quality problems for about six months. 

This experience gave us an important perspective, namely that replacing a critical component in a process or device with a nontoxic substitute can have adverse effects that take considerable time and resources to stabilize.  For DRJ, this meant if we were going to strive towards providing 100% RoHS compliant products, we would have to start immediately without waiting for a mandate from any government.  That has translated into our internal process of requesting all new products be made available in a RoHS compliant version.  We have found that this is not always possible, often because nontoxic replacement materials do not perform satisfactorily or are not available at all. Over time, we expect to be well on our way to being compliant when the Directive removes the Category 9 exemption.

Currently all of our sensors, data and signal cables and power supplies are RoHS compliant.  We are working on all the remaining products as design improvements are made.  You can check back to this page as we complete more components.  If you need additional details on the RoHS Directive please refer to this Wikipedia Link.


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