FREIBURG, GERMANY – A pair of firms hired by the European Commission to review existing and new requests for exemptions to the RoHS Directive today said it found seven unworthy of continuing.

Following a review of 29 exemptions, Okö Institute and Fraunhofer IZM have recommended seven not be continued: lead in linear incandescent lamps (Exemption 16); lead as activator in the fluorescent power of discharge lamps (Exemption 18); lead with PbBiSn-Hg and PbBiSn-Hg in specific compositions (Exemption 19); lead in oxide glass used for bonding front and rear substrates of flat fluorescent lamps used for LCDs (Exemption 20); lead oxide in the glass envelope of black light blue; lead alloys as solder for tranducers used in high-powered loudspeakers (Exemption 27), and hexavalent chromium in corrosion preventive coatings (Exemption 28).

The consultants were hired by the European Commission, which charged them with providing clearer wording of existing exemptions. The proposed new wording can be in the executive summary of the firm's report.

Okö also evaluated five requests for new exemptions: 1) lead in solders for the connection of very thin enameled wires with a terminal; 2) lead and cadmium as components of the glazes and color used to glaze or decorate lamp bases, lamp carriers or clocks; 3) lead in solders in a third-party component of cortex family equipment; 4) cadmium for use in solid-state illumination and display systems; 5) lead in solders for the connection of very thin (<100 µm) enameled copper wires and for the connection of enameled clad aluminum wires with a copper layer smaller than 20 µm.

The firms recommended granting number 4, refusing number 3, and were unable to make recommendations regarding numbers 1, 2 and 5.

Specific applications that do not have technically feasible alternatives, or cannot be foreseen within the next five to ten years, have been given an expiration date of July 31, 2014, which is when the next revision cycle will occur.

The EC will review the recommendations but have not set a timeline for release of its conclusions.
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