The Directive 2002/95/EC (referred as ROHS) of the European Parliament and of the Council restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. This article reports on a fast and inexpensive methodology for rapidly screening entire electronic assemblies that acts as a high-level screen for obvious ROHS violations. Using this methodology, this lab has been able to check entire product lines for basic ROHS compliance and has identified many cases where vendors needed to be informed of ROHS violations before a product could be certified as ROHS compliant. Four tests are employed. Each of them is described, along with the basic theory behind the test: pre-screening with x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and electron dispersion spectroscopy; detection and identification of polybrominated biphenyl ethers using gas chromatography - mass spectrometry; and chromium 6 colorimetric testing based on diphenylcarbazide.

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