News story

Use of hazardous substances in electronic equipment restricted

The European Commission has published an amendment to Annex IV of EU Directive 2011/65/EU


The European Commission has published Commission Delegated Directive 2016/585/EU amending Commission Directive 2011/65/EU which prohibits the use of lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) in electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market.

Directive 2011/65/EU sets maximum threshold concentration values by weight in homogeneous materials as follows:

  • lead – 0.1 %
  • mercury – 0.1 %
  • cadmium – 0.01 %
  • hexavalent chromium – 0.1 %
  • polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) – 0.1 %
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) – 0.1 %

Commission Delegated Directive 2016/585/EU amends Annex IV of Directive 2011/65/EU to exempt spare parts recovered from and used for the repair or refurbishment of medical devices (including in vitro diagnostic medical devices) and electron microscopes (and their accessories) from the restriction, and is effective from 7 May 2016.

Methods for determining prohibited substances are described in a series of EN standards with the prefix EN 62321 and title ‘Determination of certain substances in electrotechnical products’, shown below.

EN 62321-3-1:2014 - Screening - Lead, mercury, cadmium, total chromium and total bromine by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.

EN 62321-3-2:2014 - Screening - Total bromine in polymers and electronics by Combustion - Ion Chromatography.

EN 62321-4:2014 - Mercury in polymers, metals and electronics by CV-AAS, CV-AFS, ICP-OES and ICP-MS.

EN 62321-5:2014 - Cadmium, lead and chromium in polymers and electronics and cadmium and lead in metals by AAS, AFS, ICP-OES and ICP-MS.

EN 62321-6:2015 - Polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in polymers by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

BS EN 62321-7-1:2015 - Determination of the presence of hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) in colorless and colored corrosion-protected coatings on metals by the colorimetric method.

Published 14 September 2016