As expected, the California legislature is getting ready to look at laws banning hazardous materials in electronic products. While the state has already enacted waste recycling laws governing electronic products, this is the first proposed law that outright bans toxic materials in consumer electronic products.
The bill unveiled last week by Assembly Member Lori Saldana, a Democrat from San Diego, applies to any electronic or battery-power device. Hazardous substances will have to be phased out by 2008. “We know that the manufacturers of these products are able to produce them without including harmful toxic materials,” said Saldana in a statement. “California deserves to be included among the markets that receive this cleaner stream of consumer products.”
With a Democratic-led legislature and the backing of environmental groups, the bill is likely to pass. No exceptions have yet been mentioned in the bill. In most cases, this will be little burden on OEMs, as the vast majority are already planning a complete switch to RoHS-compliant products. The only danger would be if the California bill’s specifications were substantially more restrictive than the European Union’s RoHS directive.