Tracking down hazardous substances (RoHS/WEEE)

Preparing electronic waste for obtaining representative analytical samples.
A solution for converting an electrical appliance into a meaningful analytical sample is described using a remote-controlled toy car as an example.

Cadmium as a color pigment in plastics, lead in solder or polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) as flame protection in cables – the list of sources of potential hazardous substances in the electrical and electronics industries is long. Since the implemented EU Directives (RoHS and WEEE) came into force in July 2006 the manufacturing, processing and recycling companies in this sector have faced a new challenge. If hazardous heavy metals or polybrominated biphenyls as flame protection agents occur in used appliances then these require special treatment; in new appliances these must not exceed a stipulated minimum amount. Therefore, all parties involved are obliged to provide proof of harmlessness by a differentiated analysis.

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