According to an article at the Design News sister publication, EDN, a proposed amendment to the 1976 TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) has been put before the U.S. House of Representatives. The amendment could set regulations in the United States that are similar to those in the European Union’s RoHS.The EDEE (Environmental Design of Electrical Equipment) Act, bill HR2420 aims to “ensure a uniform federal scheme of regulation of restrictions in the use of certain substances in electrical products and equipment in interstate and foreign commerce and for other purposes.” The bill states that after July 1, 2010, electronic-industry manufacturers cannot produce any product that contains a concentration value greater than 0.1 percent by weight of lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, PBB and PBDE as measured in any homogeneous material the product contains. EDEE lists exemptions that include certain medical equipment, equipment with a voltage rating of 300V or more and some fixed installations.
Many in the electronics industry have called for a federal bill - a U.S. RoHS — that would consolidate and supersede the dozens of state regulations. In the next few weeks we’ll report on whether industry leaders view this bill as meeting that goal.