Get Your Products Tested for Harmful Substances and Certified for Sale in the EU

International laws and regulations governing the chemicals allowed in products are continually updated to prevent harmful substances from polluting the environment and causing health hazards to consumers.

At QIMA, we perform stringent standardized tests to detect the levels of harmful substances in consumer products, helping manufacturers ensure their goods meet European health and safety requirements under REACH, which are also the standard for many other countries outside the EU.

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals) restricts a number of chemical substances used in a vast range of products sold in the EU.

Click here for more information about REACH compliance tests.

Categories of Harmful Substances

The following substances are restricted by REACH and RoHS directives in textiles and electronic products:

  • Halogenated Organic Compounds
  • PCBs, PCNs, PCTs, PBBs, PBDEs, PVCs, C10-13, PFOA, PFOS
  • Heavy Metals: Cadmium, Total Chromium, Lead, Mercury.
  • Phthalates: DBP, DEHP, DEP, BBP, DNOP, DINP, DIDP.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Ozone Depleting Substances (CFCs, HCFCs, others)
  • Asbestos
  • Specific Benzotriazole
  • Red Phosphorus
  • Specific Organic Tin Compounds
  • Azo dyes

RoHS Directive for Electrical and Electronic Equipment

RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) applies to all electric appliances and electronic equipment (EEE) sold in the EU. The initial directive was issued in 2002 (2002/95/EC), restricting the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products.

All applicable products in the EU market since July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance.

The directive was revised and published in 2011 as RoHS 2 (Directive 2011/65/EU) to include a CE-marking directive. Categories 8 and 9 were also added, requiring compliance with stringent record-keeping requirements for manufacturers and other members of the supply chain.

RoHS 3 was published in 2015, adding four plasticisers (phthalates) to the list of tightly regulated toxic substances. See the table below:

Substance (homogeneous materials) Maximum concentration (ppm)
Cadmium (Cd) 0.01%
Mercury 0.1%
Lead (Pb) 0.1%
Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) 0.1%
Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) 0.1%
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) 0.1%
Substances added in 2015
Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) 0.1%
Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) 0.1%
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) 0.1%
Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) 0.1%

Flame retardants (HBCDD, TBBPA) and chlorine compounds (PVC, “halogen-free”, SCCP) are also regulated by RoHS2.

Why Manufacturers Need Tests for Harmful Substances

Businesses supplying EEE products to the EU are required to fully comply with RoHS 2 by July 22, 2019 or sooner, depending on the product category. Manufacturers and suppliers that fail to comply face hefty fines, product recalls and other punitive measures by the authorities.

Manufacturers are also required to perform their own due diligence by keeping records of independent testing for REACH and RoHS compliance. They must also inform members in their supply chain of their compliance to the latest restrictions. Suppliers, retailers and even consumers can request these documents, which must be supplied immediately upon demand.

Product Categories Requiring RoHS Testing

The RoHS Directive requires that the following products are tested for harmful substances before being allowed to be sold in the EU:

Category 1
Large household appliances: refrigerators, washers, stoves, air conditioners

Category 2
Small household appliances: vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, coffee makers, irons

Category 3
Computing and communications equipment: computers, printers, copiers, phones

Category 4
Consumer electronics: TVs, DVD players, stereos, video cameras

Category 5
Lighting: lamps, lighting fixtures, light bulbs

Category 6
Power tools: drills, saws, nail guns, sprayers, lathes, trimmers, blowers

Category 7
Toys and sports equipment: video games, electric trains, treadmills

Category 8
Medical devices and equipment

Category 9
Control and monitoring equipment *

Category 10
Automatic dispensers: vending machines, ATM machines

Category 11
Catch-all: all other electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) not covered under the other categories **

* Compliance deadline for Category 8,9 products for RoHS 3 phthalate restriction is July 22, 2021.

** Compliance deadline for Category 11 products for RoHS 3 phthalate restriction is July 23, 2019

Restrictions on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)

In addition to the substances restricted by the RoHS directive, several carcinogens found in plastic and rubber known as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) are restricted in products that come into contact with the skin.

ANNEX XVII to REACH limits PAH to 1 mg/kg (0,0001 % by weight) in the following product types:

  • Sport equipment such as bicycles, golf clubs, racquets
  • Household utensils, trolleys, walking frames
  • Tools for domestic use
  • Clothing, footwear, gloves and sportswear
  • Watch-straps, wrist-bands, masks, head-bands

PAH in toys and childcare articles with rubber or plastic components that come into direct contact with the human skin or the oral cavity is limited to 0.5 mg/kg (0,00005% by weight).

List of Restricted Polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)

Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP)
Benzo[e]pyrene (BeP)
Benzo[a]anthracene (BaA)
Chrysen (CHR)
Benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbFA)
Benzo[j]fluoranthene (BjFA)
Benzo[k]fluoranthene (BkFA)
Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene (DBAhA)

RoHS Testing Methods

Specialist equipment is used for RoHS compliance testing. The most common tool is a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer. Products and materials can be tested for harmful substances at our labs or on-site at the factory or place of production. A handheld XRF analyzer is usually performed first to focus on the parts of a product with the highest risk of containing restricted substances.

How to Get RoHS Certification

QIMA takes customers through the following steps for RoHS certification.

Review of Documentation
Review Bill of Materials, assembly drawings, Materials Declarations for each component and product, test reports and Conformance Certificates.

Audit
Inspect all manufacturing processes needed to meet RoHS compliance for the six restricted substances.

Testing
On-site portable XRF testing is done to determine values of the six restricted RoHS substances.

After successful review, audit and testing, RoHS certification can be issued.

Get Your Compliance Testing Done with QIMA

QIMA is fully accredited to carry out all third-party testing required for RoHS certification.

We provide a full spectrum of services for testing and certification to ensure your products can be safely shipped and sold worldwide.

Samples of your products can be tested on site or at any of our labs by our qualified inspectors and lab technicians in more than 85 countries.

Test results are rapid, transparent and affordable with our streamlined services that put inspectors and auditors on the factory floor within 48 hours of booking. Detailed reports are made available online the same day as inspection for your convenience.

Contact us for more information and an instant quote. Tel: 86 400 009 8282.