Why is REACH Important?
1. Keep carcinogens out of your homes, gardens, cars: protect your health. The amount of hazardous substances in the products that consumers use every day is significantly impacting people's health throughout the world. Affected products include household appliances, household electronics, personal computers, printers, network equipment, telephones, cell phones, pagers, portable electronic devices (PADs), video game equipment, toys, electric tools, sewing machines, medical devices, lighting, smoke detectors, thermostats, electric scales: just to list some of the items identified by RoHS and WEEE. The RoHS 1 directive took effect on 1 July 2006, and is required to be enforced and is the law in all member states.
This directive places Restrictions (with exceptions) the use of six Hazardous Substances in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment. It is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive (WEEE) which sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods and is part of a legislative initiative to solve the problem of huge amounts of toxic e-waste
2. Support reuse and recycling that will not harm future generations. Obsolescence of products is becoming a major issue as technology tools continue to accelerate. As an example in the US alone 142,000 computers and 416,000 cell phones are scrapped every day of the year. This results in 9,315 tons of e-waste daily. This had a major impact on landfills throughout the world.
This impact continues as billions of electronic devices become obsolete every year, only to be replaced by the latest technology. If the products becoming obsolete are designed and manufactured to be free of hazardous substances and the waste management of these products includes responsible reuse and recycling, the global impact of obsolescence is significantly reduced.
3. The REACH initiative has its roots in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) which is the Global standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology. We can become a powerful motivator to drive governments to enact protective legislation in the area of REACH products.
But, consumers are also strong motivators to drive industry to eliminate hazardous substances in the products that are manufactured and sold. Check the REACH mark on any product you are thinking of purchasing with your cell phone and our free App to find out just how safe it is.