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topic 5480

Cadmium Plated Components Restrictions


My question is about product content regulations regarding cadmium plated components. Can anybody supply me with detailed information (site specific statutes by no./name)or at least point me in the right direction. I uncovered a reference to an existing "partial" European ban on cadmium plated components in products. I discovered this while investigating another matter. I have not been able to find more specific information on this supposed ban. I would be thankful if somebody could give me information about any cadmium plated component bans (either existing or proposed) either in the U.S., Europe or Asia.

Thomas Kemp
- Erie, Pennsylvania U.S.A.


I am researching the same thing as Mr. Kemp. Any help from your experts would be appreciated.

Michael Haines
- Cincinnati, Ohio


I don't know if you are in the automotive components business, but there is an impending EU restriction on lead, cadmium, hexavalent chrome, and mercury in vehicles. There is a End of Life Vehicles bill that has this outlined in Article 4, Paragraph 2 of the directive. The deadline is January 1st+++ which means we have to back this up and plan for model year 2003 vehicles. I have no info on non-automotive industries.

This EU restriction affects vehicles globally since car manufacturers will have to change all components if some fall under this guideline. All major auto manufacturers are now coming up with guidelines and specifications for this transition.

tim neveau
Tim Neveau
Rochester Hills, Michigan


The European Commission's Directive on End Of Life Vehicles does indeed contain restrictions and bans on certain substances, including hexavalent chromium, lead cadmium, etc.

With respect to hex chrome, the limit is 2 grams per vehicle at end of life.

Below is a copy of the Email I received from the Commission staff which, among other things, says that the section on substance restrictions will come into effect +++ (sorry Tim!).

Subject : Re: EOL Directive Date : 27/07/00 12:10:16 Paris, Madrid (heure d'ÈtÈ) From: (Karl-Heinz Florenz) To: DACRAL Fichier : (87652 octets) Dear Mr Weber,

in conciliation on 23 May European Parliament and Council reached a compromise on ELV directive. The formal adoption by Parliament will take place in the second week of September at Strasbourg. As far as I know Council has already undertaken the formal adoption.

Enclosed I send you the final text of the directive (in DE, EN, FR).
Coming into force of the directive: end of September 2000.

Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive after 18 months (April 2002).

Coming into force of ban of substances: 1st July 2003, exceptions see Annex II of the directive !
Recycling targets until: 1st January 2006.

Free take back of end of life vehicles: 1 July 2002 for vehicles put on the market as from this date; 1 January 2007 for vehicles put on the market before 1 July 2002.

pp.Axel Eggert (Assistant to Mr Florenz)
Following is Annex II of the Directive:
Materials and components exempt from Article 4(2)(a)

Materials and components To be labelled or made identifiable in accordance with Article 4(2)(b)(iv) Lead as an alloying element

1. Steel (including galvanised steel) containing up to 0.35% lead by weight
2. Aluminium containing up to 0,4% lead by weight
3. Aluminium (in wheel rims, engine parts and window levers) containing up to 4% lead by weight X
4. Copper alloy containing up to 4% lead by weight
5. Lead/bronze bearing-shells and bushes Lead and lead compounds in components
6. Batteries X
7. Coating inside petrol tanks X
8. Vibration dampers X
9. Vulcanising agent for high pressure or fuel hoses
10. Stabiliser in protective paints
11. Solder in electronic circuit boards and other applications Hexavalent chromium
12. Corrosion preventative coating on numerous key vehicle components (maximum 2 g per vehicle) Mercury
13. Bulbs and instrument panel displays X

Within the procedure referred to in Article 4(2)(b), the Commission shall evaluate the following applications:

- lead as an alloy in aluminium in wheel rims, engine parts and window levers
- lead in batteries
- lead in balance weights
- electrical components which contain lead in a glass or ceramics matrix compound
- cadmium in batteries for electrical vehicles

as a matter of priority, in order to establish as soon as possible whether Annex II is to be amended accordingly.

As regards cadmium in batteries for electrical vehicles, the Commission shall take into account, within the procedure referred to in Article 4(2)b and in the framework of an overall environmental assessment, the availability of substitutes as well as the need to maintain the availability of electrical vehicles.

And, finally, here is Article 4(2)a:

2. (a) Member States shall ensure that materials and components of vehicles put on the market after 1 July 2003 do not contain lead, mercury, cadmium or hexavalent chromium other than in cases listed in Annex II under the conditions specified therein;

Sorry about the length of this reply. I hope it is helpful.

Peter Weber
- Creil, France


Does anyone know if the restrictions apply to aircrafts and their components?

Dominic Bazinet
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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