I read your article, which was brought to my attention by the members of the
technical forum link on the IPC web site so I have copied this to them as
they may want to fire in some comments too (or maybe not) We are the people
globally that are being impacted by this legislation.
The views below are my views and the opinions are backed up by recent
scientific data form the US EPA.
The RoHS legislation is excellent in every respect but one - taking lead out
Removing lead in solder is and will cause a huge hit to the environment as
outlined in a recent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report which
states the following:
"The difference between SAC (the replacement solder) and SnPb (the leaded
solder) is 453 kg of NRR per 1,000 cc of solder applied. If this were all
automotive gasoline, this difference is equivalent to 162 gallons of
gasoline. Assuming a driver consumes 20 gallons per week, this is also
equivalent to approximately 8 weeks of driving" and note that the increased
environmental impact is from the "green" replacements.
The thought process for lead in solders removal is intuitive. The reality of
the result is counter intuitive - removing it is environmentally a bad
This sound like a crazy e-mail but the facts speak for themselves all of
which can be found by looking at the http://www.rohsusa.com
<http://www.rohsusa.com/> site and the blogs at http://www.rohsusa.com/blog
which is attracting 300000 hits a month since it was put up to highlight
these issues in April.
The reality is that the EU did NOT carry out any scientific analysis such as
is contained in the EPA report before it brought out this legislation, and
the TAC technical advisory committee who deal with exemption requests are
Further, they appear to have dismissed out of hand at least one exemption
request put to the EU commission in 2004 on these very environmental grounds
without looking into the data.
Here is a set of bullet points on the situation and laid out by the front
home page of the web site:-
1. Europe has initiated RoHS in isolation (unlike Kyoto or the Montreal
protocol) and as such has impacted the global electronics market by an
estimated 100 billion dollars. If as a result of this legislation,
electronics becomes very unreliable very quickly. I believe that a
collective of manufacturers could take the Euro parliament to court and win.
2. Expert opinion says that reliability WILL be an issue and that the
replacements for leaded solder are simply not as reliable as their leaded
predecessors. As this site grows, I will be providing links and examples
of failures if/as they occur. If you have any examples, please email me.
3. The environment is going to be negatively impacted by the changeover to
lead free. The numbers are available in the August 2005 EPA report.
4. There is going to be wholesale destruction of non-replaceable forests
and other resources as the tin industry continues to struggle to control
unauthorized mining of the raw materials.
5. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest that the change was
necessary or even desirable from an environmental, health, or engineering
And please note that this initiative is driven purely by concern for the
environment and does not have any financial interest in the outcome either
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