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European Union materials restrictions and the metal finishing industry in U.S.



I am working for a small environmental consulting company, which was subcontracted by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute in Massachusetts to look at how the recent European Union and other materials restriction legislation may affect the metal finishing sector in Massachusetts (and respectively in U.S.). For example, the new End-of-Life Vehicle directive prohibits the use of lead, cadmium and hexavalent chromium (max 2 grams of Cr6+ can be used in a vehicle). In this relation I have the following questions and would highly appreciate any information and feedback:

1) Do you see the recent EU restrictions (End-of-Life Vehicle Directive, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, proposal for new emission limits for nickel, etc.) as having an impact on metal finishing operations in the U.S.?

2)Which directives and regulations you think would mostly impact the metal finishers and why?

3)Which particular sector you see as most affected (suppliers to the automotive, electronics, jewelry, aerospace, etc.)?

4)Regarding to hexa-chrome. Do the EU directives restrict the amount of hexa-chrome on the parts and components only or in the manufacturing process as well? If it's only on the components and parts are there currently tests to verify compliance (in my understanding some of Cr6+ can convert into Cr3+ and vice versa).

Thank you very much in advance for any input and information.

Vesela Veleva
- Winchester, Massachusetts, USA



The questions are very broad but let me put the answers in perspective

1) Yes. Platers will waste less, conform more and Hex chrome among others will be replaced by Non Chrome finishes by or before 2007.
2)The Hex chrome directive, because it will change the most established way of thinking since dull nickel gave way to bright baths.
3) Automotive for a start. The other sectors will fall in line once auto complies with ELV.
4) ELV places limits on Hex chrome. Period. And within a time frame it has to be zero chrome. 2007 is the deadline.


Asif Nurie [deceased]
- New Delhi, India
With deep regret we sadly advise that Asif passed away on Jan 24, 2016

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