Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects, and damage to buildings, homes, and other property. Many products containing hazardous chemicals are used and stored in homes routinely. These products are also shipped daily on the nation's highways, railroads, waterways, and pipelines.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (or RoHS) was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union. This directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment. The six hazardous materials include lead, mercury, cadmium, Hexavalent chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls, and Polybrominated diphenyl ether.