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The truth about lead-free and environment

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Here's a (427 page) EPA report on Solders in Electronics: A ... - Mar 23, 2006 by Patrick Bruneel  

Samir, was it Jenny Wang? ... - Mar 24, 2006 by RDR  

#40575

The truth about lead-free and environment | 23 March, 2006

Here's a (427 page) EPA report on Solders in Electronics: A Life-Cycle Assessment http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/dfe/pubs/solder/lca/lfs-lca-final.pdf

If you look at page ES-16/table ES-4 and ES-5 it appears that SAC alloys have a higher impact on the environment compared to Sn/Pb in areas: Non renewable resource use, Energy use, Global warming, Ozone depletion and Water Quality. Apparently those with a commercial interest in lead-free replacements have been able to hide/stop the publication of the report. This clearly shows that politicians should let scientists do the math on reliability and environmental impact before making laws. In my 35 years in soldering I've never seen such a drastic change being accepted so quick without solid reliability tests. When we promoted a 65/35 alloy some years ago to reduce drossing and prevent tin depletion, every engineer freaked out about the 2% tin increase and now they go to the extreme.

I hope that the smt-netters can help spreading the report amongst colleagues in their industry, because it clearly shows that the whole lead-free paranoia is just a "shot in the dark" misused and abused by people with commercial interest.

The credit for finding the report belongs to John Burke Here's a link to a presentation he gave on the subject @ Santa Clara IEEE CPMT http://www.ewh.ieee.org/soc/cpmt/presentations/cpmt0603a.pdf

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Chunks

#40581

The truth about lead-free and environment | 23 March, 2006

I think 10% of us already knew this. I saw the boomerang coming years ago when LF was first mentioned.

Did you guys see the tin whisker mention on the History Channel last night? It was on Technological Disasters (I believe). Didn�t see WML, but a couple of scientists were really slamming LF.

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pjc

#40584

The truth about lead-free and environment | 23 March, 2006

Yes, the RoHS is just EU protectionism. We should have told them in the beginning that we will not participate. And say OK then, don't buy our gear then. But we are pussys now, no balls to stand up. We cave to them EU'ers.

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RDR

#40585

The truth about lead-free and environment | 23 March, 2006

Who exactly is supporting this anyway? I know it came out of europe for SOME REASON none of which I beleive are really about the environment. But I have not heard any positive from anyone at anytime as to why this is being implememted in such a half-assed way. I honestly beleive that people are going to die from this crap.

I'm not a politician so this may be a completely stupid post but I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

Russ

p.s. Wavemaster Larry, what is the eutectic point of 63/37 alloy?

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Wave Master Larry

#40593

The truth about lead-free and environment | 23 March, 2006

Eutectic is were the deltas of the oven melt the paste. At least that what the maintenence guy tells me but hes alway gooped up on some goop, so who really nows. No lead is simple. With all the cell phones you guys by nowadays, the gabage heaps are getting filled with the lead from them. So guys across the pond figured it out ahead of us so everyone here is mad. If we figured it first, we'd be saying no lead is great. Either way its a good thing. Russ is right, i bet more people die from car wrecks caused by them dang cell phones more than from the the stuff ozing from the garbage heaps.

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Rob

#40599

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

You feeling OK Larry, I'm almost agreeing with you!

Right, ROHS & WEEE are designed so that we don't throw away huge amounts of electronic waste into landfill that then pollutes our drinking water with Lead, polybromides, cadmium, mercury etc, which all contribute to health problems including increased cancers, links to Altzimers & senile dementure from the buildup of heavy metals in the brain, & sterility (possibly not a bad thing for some of those policy makers in Brussels).

We all know that we will have to use more power & there will be other environmental side effects from the lead free part of this - detailled in the report Patrick brought to our attention.

However...the situation in our corner of Europe is far different from that in the states; we have a far higher population density which means that we are virtually living on our landfill sites.

We generate power a lot meore cleanly - even our coal fired power stations are the super clean variety - so an increase in power usage doesn't have that much of an increase on pollution. This isn't USA bashing - we need to generate our power more cleanly as we have to live very close to our power stations due to lack of land. Also we use a great deal less as we have lost most of our heavy industry.

As for protectionism, that is a little rich - we are all in the same boat - if you want to sell into Europe you have to spend the money changing over whether you're a European, an American, Asian or African. Also if we're talking about protectionism it wasn't so long ago that the anti-dumping legislation was being abused to protect the USA electronics component market, whilst artifically keeping prices up for it's own OEM's & CEM's.

Yes this legislation is ill concieved, badly drafted, embarrasingly & pathetically implemented, & not covering most of the pollutants or industries it should, but the ultimate aim is the right one.

We still have huge grey areas on exemptions & the directive happens in around 98 days - what do we pay all those idiots for?

Cheers,

Rob.

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Loco

#40602

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

You do know what will happen if Europes eco deskjockey politicians get a hold of this document, don't you Patrick? SAC will be next on the scraplist. I thought VOC was the next thing to go, but this looks equally bad.

I've thought of another brilliant scheme to save the world: what if we all turned off our headlights at night? think of it, no more 'light pollution', less electricity, so less power, so less air pollution, and think how many light bulbs we would save! it's a win-win-win situation!

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#40606

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

I heard something interesting yesterday on American satellite radio news. Reebok has been making little Pb (WML, Pb is the chemical symbol for Lead) "ad-ons" to their children's shoes causing kids to swallow these things and die from Lead-Poisoning:

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/breaking_news/14177452.htm

But yet, these politicians and that damn EU is worried about less than 1% lead waste from electronics.

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Rob

#40608

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

Hi Samir,

That's cos it's already an offence to sell such an item in the EU. If you even paint a childs toy with a coating of more than 0.2% lead you can face 2 years in prison (admittedly with 3 nice meals a day, internet access, gym etc - I think we could learn a lot from your culture!) and a big fine.

Cheers,

Rob.

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Gilligan

#40610

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

Here's another article on the lead-poisioning that shows the jewelry:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/03/23/jewelry.lead.poisoning.ap/index.html

Here's an interesting article for WML:

http://www.interfluxusa.com/Technical/Sixsigma.htm

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#40611

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

You�re a good man Rob and a good patriot, you defend your governments decisions even if they're wrong. Isn't the WEEE directive aimed at preventing electronics ending up in a landfill? This immediately takes away the leaching arguments and is a great step to protect the environment. Lead is a very easy recyclable material, but unfortunately got a bad reputation from the lead-oxide paints and chewed paint chips. No metals or its oxides are made for human consumption. This is valid for lead, tin, copper etc. So basically if the paint industry would have used tin-oxide we would have been soldering today with pure lead because tin would have been the bad substance. The Romans were the first to use sanitation and running water. All the sanitation was done with lead pipes. Did the Roman Empire fall from lead poisoning or because of bad political decisions?

Last question, who in this forum volunteers to be the first to board an airplane with lead-free instrumentation? (with a joint that has a crack but someone saw the bottom).

I am very serious for a Friday but it makes me mad that such drastic measures are taken without sufficient scientific background. The standards in lead-free are as unclear as the directive itself (divide and rule). Quality is a measurement towards established standards. Guess what happens when standards are missing, misinterpreted or unclear.

Of my soapbox back to work

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RDR

#40612

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

thanks Rob, that really explained a lot to me. I definitely understand why it is important for the european countries. I never really thought the directive was bad in it's intentions. But you are right it is the implementation of this that is a fiasco. I just can't believe that this can be allowed and accepted by the world without all of the info and studies being completed.

I also agree with Patrick in that the WEEE should allow for this goal to be met.

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Rob

#40613

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

Hi Patrick,

I'm patriotic to a point & that doesn't include supporting crap decisions, & those that have handled the ROHS & WEEE implementation have been beyond useless & should be locked in a lead lined room with Roman plumbing.

Yes we need to reduce heavy metal pollution (No music related jokes please!) but I also agree with you that these directives are virtually useless.

BTW: Lead is far softer & dissolves far more easily than copper or tin, hence why modern plumbing is copper or plastic.

It is good to have these discussions.

Enjoy you're weekends,

Rob.

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#40614

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

Darn Rob you're brilliant

You just solved the dilemma of micro cracks and hot tear in lead free, just add a softer metal like.....and the joints won't crack. You wrote "BTW: Lead is far softer & dissolves far more easily than copper or tin, hence why modern plumbing is copper or plastic."

Have a great weekend

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#40616

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

Patrick,

I learned at a Lead-Free seminar, where the seminar lecturer was a proponent of Bismuth in soldering, that Bismuth is actually "safe to eat" and is one of the few non-toxic metals around.

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RDR

#40618

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

Samir, was it Jenny Wang?

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#40619

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

See Samir that's what happens if you go too lead-free seminars, they feed you crap. If they served you lunch with bismuth chips its time you see a doctor or you end up like WML.

By the way any takers?? Who in this forum volunteers to be the first to board an airplane with lead-free instrumentation? (with a joint that has a crack but someone saw the bottom).

Maybe it's time I quit my anti lead-free campaign or I will find myself on the bottom of the lake with lead-free ingots in my pockets.

Y'all have a great Friday

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#40620

Electronics industry has already greatly reduced lead use | 24 March, 2006

If one considers that a computer used to fill a good sized room and now can sit in/on your hand I would say that the electronics industry has already greatly reduced the use of lead.

Microelectronics keeps getting smaller with fewer interconnects reducing the amount of lead greatly to perform the same functions.

I wonder who and how RoHS is going to be enforced? To my knowledge there is no simple and cheap method to actually check for lead in the components we purchase.

What about shooting for a 90% reduction in the use of lead in solder instead of going straight from 67% lead to 0.1% lead?

Cheers,

Bert

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#40625

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

I'd like a volunteer to have the 1st 100% RoHS WEEE Lead-Free pacemaker inserted in their bodies to regulate the heart!

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Gilligan

#40626

The truth about lead-free and environment | 24 March, 2006

Novemer 13, 2001, minutes from the JG-PP Lead-Free Solder project:

http://www.jgpp.com/projects/lead_free_soldering/minutes/01novminutes.pdf

It seems to me, that although everything was discussed before hand, it wound up being the "Let's do it and sort it all out later" perspective.

Flying on a plane with lead free? Reminds me of the skit comedian Ron White does about flying when one of the engines on a twin engine plane goes out:

Passenger: OH MY GOD - WITH THE FIRST ENGINE OUT, HOW FAR WILL THE SECOND ONE TAKE US???

Ron: All the way to the scene of the crash. Which is pretty handy 'cuz that's where we're heading. Hell, I bet we beat the paramedics there by 15 minutes.

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#40633

The truth about lead-free and environment | 25 March, 2006

Rob

It's documented that lead doesn't leach out of landfills. So, how does Eurolanders health become affected by lead in landfilled electronic products? Isn't the potential for lead poisioning from using leaded glass greater a danger?

Given that increased use of silver will have a deleterious effect on aquatic life, what is the impact of leadfree legislation on snaps, crayfish, and debauchery in Nordic climes during the summer?

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#40634

The truth about lead-free and environment | 25 March, 2006

Russ

Who benefits? * Tin producers [ITRI] and sales-types * Equipment producers and sales-types * Friends, relatives, red-haired children, and sycophants of Euroland legislators working in the regulation and compliance activities relating to leadfree

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#40637

The truth about lead-free and environment | 25 March, 2006

Pete's correct. And if you think leadfree is bad, wait 'til you see the affect of upcoming DfE Euroland regulations. Buy stock in Pampers.

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