U.S. Should Adopt RoHS-Like Law, Poll Findings Suggest

A three-month poll found that many would like a national RoHS directive from Congress.

A national Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) law should be enacted by Congress, according to respondents to a three-month online survey.

According to the results released by electronics distributor NewarkInOne, of the 1,584 poll participants, 1,028 answered “yes,” 478 answered “no,” and 78 answered “unsure.” The poll concluded in early December and the majority of the site visitors were engineers and component buyers.

The European Union's RoHS directive took effect July 1, 2006, and restricts the amount of lead and five other substances that can be used in new electronic and electrical equipment sold to EU countries. The China version of the RoHS directive takes effect in a few months.

The poll was launched in mid-September following an industry warning from Newark InOne's president, Paul Tallentire, that the upcoming California RoHS-style rule that takes effect January 1, 2007, sets a “dangerous precedent.”

"Increasing and varying state-by-state rules are already causing unnecessary complexity for electronic manufacturers and distributors who must try to track and meet them all, " Tallentire said. "Are we going to wait until we have 50 state laws with 50 flavors, before we enact a uniform national standard for our industry?"

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