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Parliament must bar toxic cadmium from Europe

May 12, 2015

Parliament must bar toxic cadmium from Europe

TVs containing cadmium are no longer available in Europe since a ban was decided under the 2002 Directive on Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment. But cadmium could return via the back door following intense lobbying efforts by some manufacturers, writes Michael Edelman.

By Michael Edelman, CEO United Kingdom-based Nanoco Group plc, a world leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials.

Cadmium, a toxic substance and carcinogen regulated by the Directive on Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment, will be permitted in displays of televisions and other equipment destined for the European market if a controversial Delegated Act is implemented by MEPs during the week commencing 18 May 2015.

At the heart of the debate is whether new LCD televisions using cadmium-based quantum dot (QD) technology should be allowed into the European market. Quantum dots are tiny fluorescent particles that have optical properties used in televisions and other displays to improve colour quality of the picture and reduce power consumption.

Under a 2011 European Directive on RoHS, the use of cadmium in TVs and lighting was to be permitted until 1 July 2014, after which it would be illegal. However, in January 2015, the European Commission proposed a Delegated Act that would allow cadmium in televisions in Europe until June 2018. But since 2011, manufacturers have been conducting a managed withdrawal of products containing cadmium from the EU market to meet the original July 2014 deadline.

Read more at EurActive.com.

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