Environment & Regulations

Panasonic's concerns for environmental protection and sustainability date back to our founder, Konosuke Matsushita and his belief of putting people before products. Today, our company's Environmental Statement pledges that we will practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and the protection of our environment. Along with the many benefits associated with the use and enjoyment of new technologies comes a responsibility that we do not take lightly. It is our sincere hope that this commitment to protecting the environment continues to earn your trust and support..

Following these principles, most Panasonic products adhere to the strict guidelines set forth by the international community for the control of hazardous substances in electronics.  To learn more about the various international standards, please read below:

Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union regulation dated 18 December 2006. REACH addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. It has been described as the most complex legislation in the Union's history and the most important in 20 years.

The RoHS (Restriction on use of certain Hazardous Substances) Directive for electrical and electronic equipment states that by July 1, 2006 most equipment sold in the EU must be essentially free of six substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).


What is RoHS?

RoHS stands for "Restriction of Hazardous Substances". It is the European Union (EU) directive that restricts the use of six hazardous substances in electronic components shipped into Europe. The directive will take effect on July 1, 2006.

What are the Hazardous Substances restricted by RoHS?

The RoHS directive requires that manufacturers be able to demonstrate minimal levels of the following identified substances:

  • Lead (Pb) - 0.1% PPM
  • Hexavalent chromium (Cr +6) - 0.1% PPM
  • Mercury (Hg) - 0.1% PPM
  • PolyBrominated Biphenyl (PBB) - 0.1% PPM
  • Cadmium (Cd) - 0.01% PPM
  • PolyBrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) - 0.1% PPM

These substances are a risk to human health. They are a health hazard when disposed of and to those who dispose them.

Where are Hazardous substances used?

  • Lead - Solders, active and passive components, terminations, printed circuit board coatings, glass.
  • Cadmium - Electroplating, plastic materials, sensors, NiCd batteries.
  • Mercury - Batteries, switches, sensors, relays, fluorescent lamps, etc.
  • Hexavalent Chromium - Chrome, coatings.
  • PBB-PBDE - Flame retardants.

What is the difference between RoHS compliant versus lead-free?

Lead-free is usually interpreted as having no lead components. RoHS restricts the use of lead to < 0.1% wt. of homogeneous substance. There are exemptions for high temperature internal solder, lead in glass in electronic components, etc.

Will part numbers of components that are in compliance with RoHS change?

In general, no. We have no plans to change part numbers. Unique part numbers will only be created for those parts that will have a change in specification as a result of the lead-free and/or RoHS compliance.

Can one use lead components or parts with No-Lead solder?

No. This would violate RoHS. See "Lead Process Compatibility Chart" here.

Can one use RoHS lead-free components with Lead (Pb)-based solder systems (backward compatibility)?

In general, yes, but please see "Lead Process Compatibility Chart" here.

What are some of the key issues when it comes to Leaded and Lead-Free solder?

Two major areas of concern are:

Compatibility (see chart here) and Reflow temperatures