While electronic devices have become a way of life for much of the world, their presence have caused adverse effects on the health of many and the environment. In order to offset the risks that disposing of electronic parts creates, the European Union implemented the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive which went into effect July 1, 2006.

This directive is intended to regulate toxic materials in electronic devices and electrical systems. As such, RoHS restricts the use of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ether. These restrictions are intended to apply to the production of consumer electronic equipment, appliances, tools, toys and medical devices. While the directive is currently intended for the European Union, other countries around the world are adopting similar laws and regulations to reduce hazardous materials.