RoHS Compliance Including Restricted Materials and Associated Product Categories


RoHS, also known as Lead-Free, stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. RoHS, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, originated in the European Union and restricts the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. All applicable products in the EU market after July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance. RoHS impacts the entire electronics industry and many electrical products as well.

Any business that sells applicable electrical or electronic products, sub-assemblies or components directly to RoHS countries, or sells to resellers, distributors or integrators that in turn sell products to these countries, is impacted if they utilize any of the restricted materials.

The RoHS Directive currently applies to products in Categories 1 through 7 (see below). Categories 8 and 9 are exempted from compliance.

RoHS specifies maximum levels for the following six restricted materials:

  • Lead (Pb): < 1000 ppm
  • Mercury (Hg): < 100 ppm
  • Cadmium (Cd): < 100 ppm
  • Hexavalent Chromium: (Cr VI) < 1000 ppm
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB): < 1000 ppm
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE): < 1000 ppm
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP): < 1000 ppm
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP): < 1000 ppm
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): < 1000 ppm
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP): < 1000 ppm


The following product categories are impacted under the RoHS Directive:

 Cat 1. Large household appliances: refrigerators, washers, stoves, air conditioners

 Cat 2. Small household appliances: vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, coffee makers, irons

 Cat 3. Computing & communications equipment: computers, printers, copiers, phones

 Cat 4. Consumer electronics: TVs, DVD players, stereos, video cameras

 Cat 5. Lighting: lamps, lighting fixtures, light bulbs Cat 6. Power tools: drills, saws, nail guns, sprayers, lathes, trimmers, blowers Cat 7. Toys and sports equipment: videogames, electric trains, treadmills Cat 10. Automatic dispensers: vending machines, ATM machines


The following products are currently exempted from RoHS compliance: Category 8. Medical devices and equipment Category 9. Control and monitoring equipment National security use and military equipment Large stationary industrial tools Certain light bulbs and some batteries Spare parts for electronic equipment in the market before July 1, 2006.

Complete RoHS Guide