The European market is subject to different directives which regulate product, process or production method characteristics. Some of them are more specific and refer to the presence of restricted chemical substances in products based on the hazard they pose to consumer health and to the environment after their disposal.
In general, the concerns of these directives relate to:
- Toxic residue concentrates in the final product;
- Utilization of harmful substances in production processes;
- Toxic emissions originating from productive processes;
- Use of volatile organic compounds in supplies and components used in manufacturing;
- Recycled materials content in product packaging;
- Adoption of environmental management systems based on ISO 14.001, which is not mandatory, but recommended.
In short, the directives express environmental concerns related to the life cycle of products, from their manufacture to their post-consumer disposal, and are aimed at the protection of human health. The reduction of electric and electronic equipment costs and shorter life cycles led to the need for new regulation to address this subject.
Examples of European Directives:
- WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- ELV – End of Life Vehicle
- EUP – Energy Using Product
- 94-62 / CEE – Packaging.
To ascertain if the chemical compositions of materials such as plastics, rubber, solders, paints, steel, copper, nickel, zinc and other alloys comply with European Directives, IPT performs qualitative analyses by X-ray fluorescent spectrometry, which can be complemented by quantitative analyses using suitable and specific techniques (e.g., inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), atomic absorption spectrophotometry, UV-visible spectrophotometry, ion chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry).