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#11596

Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 30 April, 1999

How's the "Great Gas-out" going for ya'll?

Myself, I'm doing real good! Haven't farted all day...(GRIN)

Anyways, a thread got started down below about this so-called "Lead Free" stuff, and I just wanna' put my two cents in about the whole thing. We're getting a real "snow-job", or "wool pulled over our eyes", or whatever you want to call it. But it ain't because of the noble purpose of saving the planet from the toxics of lead like this whole thing started out to be.

I know my opinion doesn't mean squat, and probably no matter what any of us think, it's probably gonna happen. Just as Justin and a few others have said; "The train is a-coming..." and it's gonna roll over us no matter how misguided this whole stupid thing is"

The first question that I or anybody else should have is; "Why?" Why are the powers that be (or some other influence) making us turn our industry completely upside down as far as how we're assembling electronic products?

"Because Steve, because Lead is bad! Bad,bad,bad..." Well duhhh, I think any 12-year old kid knows that, it ain't rocket science to know that you're not supposed to ingest it. But why are we being forced, (or "railroaded", just to keep with this train theme...hehehe) to change something so basic and primary in what we do? Especially when you look at the following figures:

Lead Consumption by End Use

Batteries 71% Pigment 12% Rolled Extrusions 7% Cable Sheathing 3% Ammunition 6%

Where do you see electronics? It's in that last 1% that you'll find remaining when you add all the figures up..and it's a fraction of that one percent. So I ask again; "Why?"

There's other end-use consumption tables out on the 'Net that'll vary by a percentage point or two depending on who publishes the chart, but they're all pretty close.

It's sure ain't because it'll save us all from the toxics of lead. That's what people would like you to believe, but that ain't it. If we are so worried about Lead, there's much better targets of opportunity to reduce the lead in the environment than to mess with my solder paste and bar solder. Here's one you'll freak out over...from the pages of http://www.ilmc.org/ (International Lead Management Center)

"The information content of the Expert System would largely be based upon OECD materials and input from OECD countries. ILMC will help organize information input, provide financial support, work with UNIDO in the testing of the Expert System, and arrange to have individual countries prepare "case studies" on the phase-out of lead-soldered food cans..."

Geeze Louise, we still solder the cans for our food!! They want to just "prepare case studies" for the "phase-out" of Lead soldered food cans! They haven't done that yet? Holy sh*T!! And they want to push me to use something else to assemble my printed circuit boards? Get REAL!

Go to this page: http://WWW.EPA.Gov/opptintr/Lead/ and tell me what you see as the biggest Lead hazard that's in all the pages and links at that site? Paint! Not solder, or electronics, but Paint! Now this is the EPA saying that stuff...not Steve Gregory.

So I ask again; "Why?"

Below is some things I've pasted from WEB pages that kinda' gives some perspective about the uses of Lead, and some things to think about. While we all know that Lead is toxic if we ingest it, all we need to do is not do that! It's simple!

I think that the electronic industry is the most responsible users of Lead of any industry. We track and monitor our material usage. You walk into almost any facility and you will see dross recycling drums and hazardous waste containers that we will dispose of Lead contaminated wastes in, we do the right things. The percent of the total usage in our industry surely doesn't justify a complete change of our most basic and fundamental process...which is to make the electrical connections for the components.

If you want to check out everything I've said, go to: http://www.ilmc.org/resources.html There will be a TON of other pages from all kinds of Lead research groups that you can scour yourselves and see where we (the Electronic Industry) stand as far as Lead pollution. We ain't that bad guys, in fact, we should be the example as far as responsible users...and that's my point. Lead is a very good material for what we do, as it is for other uses as well. We've discovered it sucks using it in paint, and most reasonable people won't use Lead based paints anymore.

-Steve Gregory-

Some interesting facts about Lead:

Ingesting or inhaling abnormally high levels of lead can be harmful. Fortunately, lead exposure has been greatly reduced over the last several decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call this decline "one of the greatest public health successes of the decade."

Working together, industry and government have eliminated potentially high exposure uses of lead, such as lead solder in food cans and in drinking water distribution systems. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, pockets of high exposure still exist in older urban communities where there is deteriorating housing. The industry is working with other groups to identify affordable solutions to this problem. Current uses of lead pose no significant environment or health risks.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to the use of lead. The dramatic drop in blood lead levels has been labeled one of the greatest public health success stories and blood lead levels, especially in children, continue to decrease.

Almost 80% of all the lead now used in the US. is for the production of lead-acid storage batteries. Batteries provide both starting power for ignition and staying power for the lights, radios and other power accessories. Lead storage batteries constitute the most dependable way to store energy for future use. Lead batteries are playing a crucial role in the growing use of electric cars.

Because of its high density, capability and availability, lead is an outstanding material for radiation shielding. Major progress in the medical field's use of radiation for imaging diagnostics such as CAT scans can be directly attributed to the use of sophisticated lead shielding to protect patients, healthcare professionals and the public.

The International Lead Zinc Research Organization has initiated a project with the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, CA. to provide the cost-effectiveness of a giant lead-acid load leveling battery for use by Southern California Edison. The purpose of the demonstration is to show that large batteries can deliver enough power consistently during the daily load "peaks" to eliminate need to build new power plants.

Lead is now cost-effectively used for flat roofs. Compared with other membrane materials, it pays for itself in less than 20 years and has a projected life of more than 60 years.

Electric vehicles are a viable alternative to fossil-fueled autos and trucks. Major improvements in battery technology have resulted in a lead-acid battery that is 50% more powerful than just 15 years ago.

Earthquakes can cause tremendous devastation and loss of life. Japanese and US. engineers are using lead in building foundations to absorb earthquake shock. Entire buildings can be mounted on platforms supported by giant springs and a series of strategically placed lead shock absorbers.

reply »

Bob Willis

#11597

Re: Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 1 May, 1999

| How's the "Great Gas-out" going for ya'll? | | Myself, I'm doing real good! Haven't farted all day...(GRIN) | | Anyways, a thread got started down below about this so-called "Lead Free" stuff, and I just wanna' put my two cents in about the whole thing. We're getting a real "snow-job", or "wool pulled over our eyes", or whatever you want to call it. But it ain't because of the noble purpose of saving the planet from the toxics of lead like this whole thing started out to be. | | I know my opinion doesn't mean squat, and probably no matter what any of us think, it's probably gonna happen. Just as Justin and a few others have said; "The train is a-coming..." and it's gonna roll over us no matter how misguided this whole stupid thing is" | | The first question that I or anybody else should have is; "Why?" | Why are the powers that be (or some other influence) making us turn our industry completely upside down as far as how we're assembling electronic products? | | "Because Steve, because Lead is bad! Bad,bad,bad..." Well duhhh, I think any 12-year old kid knows that, it ain't rocket science to know that you're not supposed to ingest it. But why are we being forced, (or "railroaded", just to keep with this train theme...hehehe) to change something so basic and primary in what we do? Especially when you look at the following figures: | | Lead Consumption by End Use | | Batteries 71% | Pigment 12% | Rolled Extrusions 7% | Cable Sheathing 3% | Ammunition 6% | | Where do you see electronics? It's in that last 1% that you'll find remaining when you add all the figures up..and it's a fraction of that one percent. So I ask again; "Why?" | | There's other end-use consumption tables out on the 'Net that'll vary by a percentage point or two depending on who publishes the chart, but they're all pretty close. | | It's sure ain't because it'll save us all from the toxics of lead. That's what people would like you to believe, but that ain't it. If we are so worried about Lead, there's much better targets of opportunity to reduce the lead in the environment than to mess with my solder paste and bar solder. Here's one you'll freak out over...from the pages of http://www.ilmc.org/ | (International Lead Management Center) | | "The information content of the Expert System would largely be based upon OECD materials and input from OECD countries. ILMC will help organize information input, provide financial support, work with UNIDO in the testing of the Expert System, and arrange to have individual countries prepare "case studies" on the phase-out of lead-soldered food cans..." | | Geeze Louise, we still solder the cans for our food!! They want to just "prepare case studies" for the "phase-out" of Lead soldered food cans! They haven't done that yet? Holy sh*T!! | And they want to push me to use something else to assemble my printed circuit boards? Get REAL! | | Go to this page: http://WWW.EPA.Gov/opptintr/Lead/ and tell me what you see as the biggest Lead hazard that's in all the pages and links at that site? Paint! Not solder, or electronics, but Paint! Now this is the EPA saying that stuff...not Steve Gregory. | | So I ask again; "Why?" | | Below is some things I've pasted from WEB pages that kinda' gives some perspective about the uses of Lead, and some things to think about. While we all know that Lead is toxic if we ingest it, all we need to do is not do that! It's simple! | | I think that the electronic industry is the most responsible users of Lead of any industry. We track and monitor our material usage. You walk into almost any facility and you will see dross recycling drums and hazardous waste containers that we will dispose of Lead contaminated wastes in, we do the right things. The percent of the total usage in our industry surely doesn't justify a complete change of our most basic and fundamental process...which is to make the electrical connections for the components. | | If you want to check out everything I've said, go to: | http://www.ilmc.org/resources.html There will be a TON of other pages from all kinds of Lead research groups that you can scour yourselves and see where we (the Electronic Industry) stand as far as Lead pollution. We ain't that bad guys, in fact, we should be the example as far as responsible users...and that's my point. | Lead is a very good material for what we do, as it is for other uses as well. We've discovered it sucks using it in paint, and most reasonable people won't use Lead based paints anymore. | | -Steve Gregory- | | Some interesting facts about Lead: | | Ingesting or inhaling abnormally high levels of lead can be harmful. Fortunately, lead exposure has been greatly reduced over the last several decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call this decline "one of the greatest public health successes of the decade." | | Working together, industry and government have eliminated potentially high exposure uses of lead, such as lead solder in food cans and in drinking water distribution systems. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, pockets of high exposure still exist in older urban communities where there is deteriorating housing. The industry is working with other groups to identify affordable solutions to this problem. Current uses of lead pose no significant environment or health risks. | | There are many misconceptions when it comes to the use of lead. The dramatic drop in blood lead levels has been labeled one of the greatest public health success stories and blood lead levels, especially in children, continue to decrease. | | Almost 80% of all the lead now used in the US. is for the production of lead-acid storage batteries. Batteries provide both starting power for ignition and staying power for the lights, radios and other power accessories. Lead storage batteries constitute the most dependable way to store energy for future use. Lead batteries are playing a crucial role in the growing use of electric cars. | | Because of its high density, capability and availability, lead is an outstanding material for radiation shielding. Major progress in the medical field's use of radiation for imaging diagnostics such as CAT scans can be directly attributed to the use of sophisticated lead shielding to protect patients, healthcare professionals and the public. | | The International Lead Zinc Research Organization has initiated a project with the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, CA. to provide the cost-effectiveness of a giant lead-acid load leveling battery for use by Southern California Edison. The purpose of the demonstration is to show that large batteries can deliver enough power consistently during the daily load "peaks" to eliminate need to build new power plants. | | Lead is now cost-effectively used for flat roofs. Compared with other membrane materials, it pays for itself in less than 20 years and has a projected life of more than 60 years. | | Electric vehicles are a viable alternative to fossil-fueled autos and trucks. Major improvements in battery technology have resulted in a lead-acid battery that is 50% more powerful than just 15 years ago. | | Earthquakes can cause tremendous devastation and loss of life. Japanese and US. engineers are using lead in building foundations to absorb earthquake shock. Entire buildings can be mounted on platforms supported by giant springs and a series of strategically placed lead shock absorbers. | | There are some very good points here and I believe that there are many reason why this legislation will happen. It is the same story with CFC the electonics contribution to the total was very small but that happened just like lead will be phased out.

Some of the most up to date project work is on the SMART Group Web Site from the last lead free conference. You can view the presentations on www.smartgroup.org if you like.

Have a great day.

| | |

reply »

JohnW

#11598

Re: Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 2 May, 1999

| | How's the "Great Gas-out" going for ya'll? | | | | Myself, I'm doing real good! Haven't farted all day...(GRIN) | | | | Anyways, a thread got started down below about this so-called "Lead Free" stuff, and I just wanna' put my two cents in about the whole thing. We're getting a real "snow-job", or "wool pulled over our eyes", or whatever you want to call it. But it ain't because of the noble purpose of saving the planet from the toxics of lead like this whole thing started out to be. | | | | I know my opinion doesn't mean squat, and probably no matter what any of us think, it's probably gonna happen. Just as Justin and a few others have said; "The train is a-coming..." and it's gonna roll over us no matter how misguided this whole stupid thing is" | | | | The first question that I or anybody else should have is; "Why?" | | Why are the powers that be (or some other influence) making us turn our industry completely upside down as far as how we're assembling electronic products? | | | | "Because Steve, because Lead is bad! Bad,bad,bad..." Well duhhh, I think any 12-year old kid knows that, it ain't rocket science to know that you're not supposed to ingest it. But why are we being forced, (or "railroaded", just to keep with this train theme...hehehe) to change something so basic and primary in what we do? Especially when you look at the following figures: | | | | Lead Consumption by End Use | | | | Batteries 71% | | Pigment 12% | | Rolled Extrusions 7% | | Cable Sheathing 3% | | Ammunition 6% | | | | Where do you see electronics? It's in that last 1% that you'll find remaining when you add all the figures up..and it's a fraction of that one percent. So I ask again; "Why?" | | | | There's other end-use consumption tables out on the 'Net that'll vary by a percentage point or two depending on who publishes the chart, but they're all pretty close. | | | | It's sure ain't because it'll save us all from the toxics of lead. That's what people would like you to believe, but that ain't it. If we are so worried about Lead, there's much better targets of opportunity to reduce the lead in the environment than to mess with my solder paste and bar solder. Here's one you'll freak out over...from the pages of http://www.ilmc.org/ | | (International Lead Management Center) | | | | "The information content of the Expert System would largely be based upon OECD materials and input from OECD countries. ILMC will help organize information input, provide financial support, work with UNIDO in the testing of the Expert System, and arrange to have individual countries prepare "case studies" on the phase-out of lead-soldered food cans..." | | | | Geeze Louise, we still solder the cans for our food!! They want to just "prepare case studies" for the "phase-out" of Lead soldered food cans! They haven't done that yet? Holy sh*T!! | | And they want to push me to use something else to assemble my printed circuit boards? Get REAL! | | | | Go to this page: http://WWW.EPA.Gov/opptintr/Lead/ and tell me what you see as the biggest Lead hazard that's in all the pages and links at that site? Paint! Not solder, or electronics, but Paint! Now this is the EPA saying that stuff...not Steve Gregory. | | | | So I ask again; "Why?" | | | | Below is some things I've pasted from WEB pages that kinda' gives some perspective about the uses of Lead, and some things to think about. While we all know that Lead is toxic if we ingest it, all we need to do is not do that! It's simple! | | | | I think that the electronic industry is the most responsible users of Lead of any industry. We track and monitor our material usage. You walk into almost any facility and you will see dross recycling drums and hazardous waste containers that we will dispose of Lead contaminated wastes in, we do the right things. The percent of the total usage in our industry surely doesn't justify a complete change of our most basic and fundamental process...which is to make the electrical connections for the components. | | | | If you want to check out everything I've said, go to: | | http://www.ilmc.org/resources.html There will be a TON of other pages from all kinds of Lead research groups that you can scour yourselves and see where we (the Electronic Industry) stand as far as Lead pollution. We ain't that bad guys, in fact, we should be the example as far as responsible users...and that's my point. | | Lead is a very good material for what we do, as it is for other uses as well. We've discovered it sucks using it in paint, and most reasonable people won't use Lead based paints anymore. | | | | -Steve Gregory- | | | | Some interesting facts about Lead: | | | | Ingesting or inhaling abnormally high levels of lead can be harmful. Fortunately, lead exposure has been greatly reduced over the last several decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call this decline "one of the greatest public health successes of the decade." | | | | Working together, industry and government have eliminated potentially high exposure uses of lead, such as lead solder in food cans and in drinking water distribution systems. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, pockets of high exposure still exist in older urban communities where there is deteriorating housing. The industry is working with other groups to identify affordable solutions to this problem. Current uses of lead pose no significant environment or health risks. | | | | There are many misconceptions when it comes to the use of lead. The dramatic drop in blood lead levels has been labeled one of the greatest public health success stories and blood lead levels, especially in children, continue to decrease. | | | | Almost 80% of all the lead now used in the US. is for the production of lead-acid storage batteries. Batteries provide both starting power for ignition and staying power for the lights, radios and other power accessories. Lead storage batteries constitute the most dependable way to store energy for future use. Lead batteries are playing a crucial role in the growing use of electric cars. | | | | Because of its high density, capability and availability, lead is an outstanding material for radiation shielding. Major progress in the medical field's use of radiation for imaging diagnostics such as CAT scans can be directly attributed to the use of sophisticated lead shielding to protect patients, healthcare professionals and the public. | | | | The International Lead Zinc Research Organization has initiated a project with the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, CA. to provide the cost-effectiveness of a giant lead-acid load leveling battery for use by Southern California Edison. The purpose of the demonstration is to show that large batteries can deliver enough power consistently during the daily load "peaks" to eliminate need to build new power plants. | | | | Lead is now cost-effectively used for flat roofs. Compared with other membrane materials, it pays for itself in less than 20 years and has a projected life of more than 60 years. | | | | Electric vehicles are a viable alternative to fossil-fueled autos and trucks. Major improvements in battery technology have resulted in a lead-acid battery that is 50% more powerful than just 15 years ago. | | | | Earthquakes can cause tremendous devastation and loss of life. Japanese and US. engineers are using lead in building foundations to absorb earthquake shock. Entire buildings can be mounted on platforms supported by giant springs and a series of strategically placed lead shock absorbers. | | | | There are some very good points here and I believe that there are many reason why this legislation will happen. It is the same story with CFC the electonics contribution to the total was very small but that happened just like lead will be phased out. | | Some of the most up to date project work is on the SMART Group Web Site from the last lead free conference. You can view the presentations on www.smartgroup.org if you like. | | Have a great day. | | | | | Steve,

I see your point, and yes there are alot bigger fish to fry in the removal or control of lead in the environment. However even if the amount of lead that we as an industry is around 1% that (I think..occationally)aint the whole issue. Once we've finished building the PCB it goes to a product that is eventually binned. The board, solder and all are usually skipped / put into landfill and it aint that easily broken down in the environment. When it does it seep's into water tables and plant's around and can get back into the food chain ..back to ingesting eyuk!. Ok so i know especially over here in europe the law's on landfill are changine and more and more companies are becoming responsible for the recycling of the stuff they make but is will take time. I agree that the industry is one if not the best in control of the lead it handles and would be a great advertisement on how to do it right but maybe we can go one better and be a good advertisement on thinking long term and getting rid of the lead. The big problem is what the heck do you replace it with that aint gonna send pcb prices rocketing ..? 95tin/5 bismouth..mmm maybe not, tin silver whatever or conductive epoxy..? tried using that stuff...get it wrong and you may as well stick the card in the bin. I dont know what the answer is, but I'm sure we will be pulled down the track(back to trains)kicking and screaming as we go.

JohnW | | | |

reply »

#11599

Re: Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 3 May, 1999

| How's the "Great Gas-out" going for ya'll? | | Myself, I'm doing real good! Haven't farted all day...(GRIN) | | Anyways, a thread got started down below about this so-called "Lead Free" stuff, and I just wanna' put my two cents in about the whole thing. We're getting a real "snow-job", or "wool pulled over our eyes", or whatever you want to call it. But it ain't because of the noble purpose of saving the planet from the toxics of lead like this whole thing started out to be. | | I know my opinion doesn't mean squat, and probably no matter what any of us think, it's probably gonna happen. Just as Justin and a few others have said; "The train is a-coming..." and it's gonna roll over us no matter how misguided this whole stupid thing is" | | The first question that I or anybody else should have is; "Why?" | Why are the powers that be (or some other influence) making us turn our industry completely upside down as far as how we're assembling electronic products? | | "Because Steve, because Lead is bad! Bad,bad,bad..." Well duhhh, I think any 12-year old kid knows that, it ain't rocket science to know that you're not supposed to ingest it. But why are we being forced, (or "railroaded", just to keep with this train theme...hehehe) to change something so basic and primary in what we do? Especially when you look at the following figures: | | Lead Consumption by End Use | | Batteries 71% | Pigment 12% | Rolled Extrusions 7% | Cable Sheathing 3% | Ammunition 6% | | Where do you see electronics? It's in that last 1% that you'll find remaining when you add all the figures up..and it's a fraction of that one percent. So I ask again; "Why?" | | There's other end-use consumption tables out on the 'Net that'll vary by a percentage point or two depending on who publishes the chart, but they're all pretty close. | | It's sure ain't because it'll save us all from the toxics of lead. That's what people would like you to believe, but that ain't it. If we are so worried about Lead, there's much better targets of opportunity to reduce the lead in the environment than to mess with my solder paste and bar solder. Here's one you'll freak out over...from the pages of http://www.ilmc.org/ | (International Lead Management Center) | | "The information content of the Expert System would largely be based upon OECD materials and input from OECD countries. ILMC will help organize information input, provide financial support, work with UNIDO in the testing of the Expert System, and arrange to have individual countries prepare "case studies" on the phase-out of lead-soldered food cans..." | | Geeze Louise, we still solder the cans for our food!! They want to just "prepare case studies" for the "phase-out" of Lead soldered food cans! They haven't done that yet? Holy sh*T!! | And they want to push me to use something else to assemble my printed circuit boards? Get REAL! | | Go to this page: http://WWW.EPA.Gov/opptintr/Lead/ and tell me what you see as the biggest Lead hazard that's in all the pages and links at that site? Paint! Not solder, or electronics, but Paint! Now this is the EPA saying that stuff...not Steve Gregory. | | So I ask again; "Why?" | | Below is some things I've pasted from WEB pages that kinda' gives some perspective about the uses of Lead, and some things to think about. While we all know that Lead is toxic if we ingest it, all we need to do is not do that! It's simple! | | I think that the electronic industry is the most responsible users of Lead of any industry. We track and monitor our material usage. You walk into almost any facility and you will see dross recycling drums and hazardous waste containers that we will dispose of Lead contaminated wastes in, we do the right things. The percent of the total usage in our industry surely doesn't justify a complete change of our most basic and fundamental process...which is to make the electrical connections for the components. | | If you want to check out everything I've said, go to: | http://www.ilmc.org/resources.html There will be a TON of other pages from all kinds of Lead research groups that you can scour yourselves and see where we (the Electronic Industry) stand as far as Lead pollution. We ain't that bad guys, in fact, we should be the example as far as responsible users...and that's my point. | Lead is a very good material for what we do, as it is for other uses as well. We've discovered it sucks using it in paint, and most reasonable people won't use Lead based paints anymore. | | -Steve Gregory- | | Some interesting facts about Lead: | | Ingesting or inhaling abnormally high levels of lead can be harmful. Fortunately, lead exposure has been greatly reduced over the last several decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call this decline "one of the greatest public health successes of the decade." | | Working together, industry and government have eliminated potentially high exposure uses of lead, such as lead solder in food cans and in drinking water distribution systems. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, pockets of high exposure still exist in older urban communities where there is deteriorating housing. The industry is working with other groups to identify affordable solutions to this problem. Current uses of lead pose no significant environment or health risks. | | There are many misconceptions when it comes to the use of lead. The dramatic drop in blood lead levels has been labeled one of the greatest public health success stories and blood lead levels, especially in children, continue to decrease. | | Almost 80% of all the lead now used in the US. is for the production of lead-acid storage batteries. Batteries provide both starting power for ignition and staying power for the lights, radios and other power accessories. Lead storage batteries constitute the most dependable way to store energy for future use. Lead batteries are playing a crucial role in the growing use of electric cars. | | Because of its high density, capability and availability, lead is an outstanding material for radiation shielding. Major progress in the medical field's use of radiation for imaging diagnostics such as CAT scans can be directly attributed to the use of sophisticated lead shielding to protect patients, healthcare professionals and the public. | | The International Lead Zinc Research Organization has initiated a project with the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, CA. to provide the cost-effectiveness of a giant lead-acid load leveling battery for use by Southern California Edison. The purpose of the demonstration is to show that large batteries can deliver enough power consistently during the daily load "peaks" to eliminate need to build new power plants. | | Lead is now cost-effectively used for flat roofs. Compared with other membrane materials, it pays for itself in less than 20 years and has a projected life of more than 60 years. | | Electric vehicles are a viable alternative to fossil-fueled autos and trucks. Major improvements in battery technology have resulted in a lead-acid battery that is 50% more powerful than just 15 years ago. | | Earthquakes can cause tremendous devastation and loss of life. Japanese and US. engineers are using lead in building foundations to absorb earthquake shock. Entire buildings can be mounted on platforms supported by giant springs and a series of strategically placed lead shock absorbers. | | | | |

reply »

#11600

Re: Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 3 May, 1999

| | How's the "Great Gas-out" going for ya'll? | | | | Myself, I'm doing real good! Haven't farted all day...(GRIN) | | | | Anyways, a thread got started down below about this so-called "Lead Free" stuff, and I just wanna' put my two cents in about the whole thing. We're getting a real "snow-job", or "wool pulled over our eyes", or whatever you want to call it. But it ain't because of the noble purpose of saving the planet from the toxics of lead like this whole thing started out to be. | | | | I know my opinion doesn't mean squat, and probably no matter what any of us think, it's probably gonna happen. Just as Justin and a few others have said; "The train is a-coming..." and it's gonna roll over us no matter how misguided this whole stupid thing is" | | | | The first question that I or anybody else should have is; "Why?" | | Why are the powers that be (or some other influence) making us turn our industry completely upside down as far as how we're assembling electronic products? | | | | "Because Steve, because Lead is bad! Bad,bad,bad..." Well duhhh, I think any 12-year old kid knows that, it ain't rocket science to know that you're not supposed to ingest it. But why are we being forced, (or "railroaded", just to keep with this train theme...hehehe) to change something so basic and primary in what we do? Especially when you look at the following figures: | | | | Lead Consumption by End Use | | | | Batteries 71% | | Pigment 12% | | Rolled Extrusions 7% | | Cable Sheathing 3% | | Ammunition 6% | | | | Where do you see electronics? It's in that last 1% that you'll find remaining when you add all the figures up..and it's a fraction of that one percent. So I ask again; "Why?" | | | | There's other end-use consumption tables out on the 'Net that'll vary by a percentage point or two depending on who publishes the chart, but they're all pretty close. | | | | It's sure ain't because it'll save us all from the toxics of lead. That's what people would like you to believe, but that ain't it. If we are so worried about Lead, there's much better targets of opportunity to reduce the lead in the environment than to mess with my solder paste and bar solder. Here's one you'll freak out over...from the pages of http://www.ilmc.org/ | | (International Lead Management Center) | | | | "The information content of the Expert System would largely be based upon OECD materials and input from OECD countries. ILMC will help organize information input, provide financial support, work with UNIDO in the testing of the Expert System, and arrange to have individual countries prepare "case studies" on the phase-out of lead-soldered food cans..." | | | | Geeze Louise, we still solder the cans for our food!! They want to just "prepare case studies" for the "phase-out" of Lead soldered food cans! They haven't done that yet? Holy sh*T!! | | And they want to push me to use something else to assemble my printed circuit boards? Get REAL! | | | | Go to this page: http://WWW.EPA.Gov/opptintr/Lead/ and tell me what you see as the biggest Lead hazard that's in all the pages and links at that site? Paint! Not solder, or electronics, but Paint! Now this is the EPA saying that stuff...not Steve Gregory. | | | | So I ask again; "Why?" | | | | Below is some things I've pasted from WEB pages that kinda' gives some perspective about the uses of Lead, and some things to think about. While we all know that Lead is toxic if we ingest it, all we need to do is not do that! It's simple! | | | | I think that the electronic industry is the most responsible users of Lead of any industry. We track and monitor our material usage. You walk into almost any facility and you will see dross recycling drums and hazardous waste containers that we will dispose of Lead contaminated wastes in, we do the right things. The percent of the total usage in our industry surely doesn't justify a complete change of our most basic and fundamental process...which is to make the electrical connections for the components. | | | | If you want to check out everything I've said, go to: | | http://www.ilmc.org/resources.html There will be a TON of other pages from all kinds of Lead research groups that you can scour yourselves and see where we (the Electronic Industry) stand as far as Lead pollution. We ain't that bad guys, in fact, we should be the example as far as responsible users...and that's my point. | | Lead is a very good material for what we do, as it is for other uses as well. We've discovered it sucks using it in paint, and most reasonable people won't use Lead based paints anymore. | | | | -Steve Gregory- | | | | Some interesting facts about Lead: | | | | Ingesting or inhaling abnormally high levels of lead can be harmful. Fortunately, lead exposure has been greatly reduced over the last several decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call this decline "one of the greatest public health successes of the decade." | | | | Working together, industry and government have eliminated potentially high exposure uses of lead, such as lead solder in food cans and in drinking water distribution systems. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, pockets of high exposure still exist in older urban communities where there is deteriorating housing. The industry is working with other groups to identify affordable solutions to this problem. Current uses of lead pose no significant environment or health risks. | | | | There are many misconceptions when it comes to the use of lead. The dramatic drop in blood lead levels has been labeled one of the greatest public health success stories and blood lead levels, especially in children, continue to decrease. | | | | Almost 80% of all the lead now used in the US. is for the production of lead-acid storage batteries. Batteries provide both starting power for ignition and staying power for the lights, radios and other power accessories. Lead storage batteries constitute the most dependable way to store energy for future use. Lead batteries are playing a crucial role in the growing use of electric cars. | | | | Because of its high density, capability and availability, lead is an outstanding material for radiation shielding. Major progress in the medical field's use of radiation for imaging diagnostics such as CAT scans can be directly attributed to the use of sophisticated lead shielding to protect patients, healthcare professionals and the public. | | | | The International Lead Zinc Research Organization has initiated a project with the Electric Power Research Institute of Palo Alto, CA. to provide the cost-effectiveness of a giant lead-acid load leveling battery for use by Southern California Edison. The purpose of the demonstration is to show that large batteries can deliver enough power consistently during the daily load "peaks" to eliminate need to build new power plants. | | | | Lead is now cost-effectively used for flat roofs. Compared with other membrane materials, it pays for itself in less than 20 years and has a projected life of more than 60 years. | | | | Electric vehicles are a viable alternative to fossil-fueled autos and trucks. Major improvements in battery technology have resulted in a lead-acid battery that is 50% more powerful than just 15 years ago. | | | | Earthquakes can cause tremendous devastation and loss of life. Japanese and US. engineers are using lead in building foundations to absorb earthquake shock. Entire buildings can be mounted on platforms supported by giant springs and a series of strategically placed lead shock absorbers. | | | | | | | | | | | |

Steve:

I for one feel we have to stop using lead as soon as possible. That goes for bullets, fishing tackle, batteries, electronics, the whole gambit. How we achieve it I haven't a clue, but enjoying the outdoors, fishing, hunting, etc., I do not feel any of us can take a stand that "we are using less than 1% in the electronics industry so why should we have to change".

Asbestos was something that we used in so many products and people in the 60's were saying "Hey if you cover it up it's okay", well it wasn't okay and many people suffered from the

(Out of Sight out of Mind approach). Just think, in the 50's Kent cigs were using an asbestos filter! How would you feel if you smoked Kents back then?

Economics will drive stopping the use of lead, but I feel everyone involved in any industry using lead products better start reading MSDS reports and making sure the end users (Operators) are safe.

Just my two cents.....NO LEAD SINKERS!

Wayne

reply »

#11601

Re: Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 3 May, 1999

Hi Ya' John!

Here's my comeback to the points you've raised...you knew I would have a comeback, didn't ya'?

|Steve, | | I see your point, and yes there are alot bigger fish to fry in |the removal or control of lead in the environment. However even |if the amount of lead that we as an industry is around 1% that |(I think..occationally)aint the whole issue. Once we've finished |building the PCB it goes to a product that is eventually binned. |The board, solder and all are usually skipped / put into |landfill and it aint that easily broken down in the environment. |When it does it seep's into water tables and plant's around and |can get back into the food chain ..back to ingesting eyuk!. | Ok so i know especially over here in europe the law's on |landfill are changing and more and more companies are becoming |responsible for the recycling of the stuff they make but is will |take time.

That's a good point, but the solution is for each one of us to become more responsible and not throw our old broke computers into the landfill trash. Just like we don't throw used motor oil, paints, insecticides, and whatnot down the storm drains. We all need to practice a little more personal responsibility!

But taking your point into consideration, are people going to be any less likely to throw old electronic parts into the trash instead of recycling what you can off the board and then treating the rest as a hazardous waste when we switch over to "Lead Free"? I don't think so, do you?

In fact, I think people will have a false sense of security because we won't use that bad lead stuff anymore. But actually what we'll have is JUST as BAD, probably WORSE than Lead to the environment! I'm not kidding one bit!

I attended the 1999 IPC Printed Circuits Expo down in Long Beach, California, and there was a presentation done by two engineers from K*Tec Electronics a Edwin B. Smith III, and a Kristine Swanger, who performed a study of 5-different "Lead-Free" solder alloys and the environmental effects should they breech a landfill and leach into the local groundwater. SMT Magazine has the same study in one of their most recent issues. I also have a *.PDF file (Adobe Acrobat) of the same study if you would like me to email it to you as an attachment.

They did the same sort of testing, following the same methods, that the United States Environmental Protection Agency does to determine whether a waste is hazardous by virtue of it's toxicity.

The actual method is called The Toxicity Characteristic Leeching Procedure or TCLP.

The law here defines a hazardous waste that presents a threat to human health and the environment when "improperly managed", such as throwing it in with your normal trash just like you said. The EPA intended this scenario to simulate a "plausible worst case" of mismanagement. They also assumed that the most likely pathway for human exposure to any toxic constituents would be through drinking water contaminated by leachate from a breeched landfill.

The solders that were tested were:

1.) 96.3% Tin, 3.2% Silver, .5% Copper 2.) 96.5% Tin, 3.5% Silver 3.) 98% Tin, 2% Silver 4.) 99.3% Tin, .7% Copper 5.) 95% Tin, 5% Antimony

Alloys of Bismuth weren't tested because the primary source of Bismuth is Lead Manufacture, and neither was Indium because it's so hard to get to begin with...there ain't enough of that stuff around for everybody to use. Zinc wasn't tested because of the poor wetting action it has, and nobody has considered using it as a surface finish on PCB's.

The test results showed that EVERY "Lead Free" alloy leached at levels above the EPA standards, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! The most horrendous one was the 95Sn 5Sb alloy. The limit for antimony is .006 mg/L in drinking water, after testing it was discovered that the antimony leached almost 10,000 the amount that is the maximum allowable! Pretty scarey if you ask me...

Bottomline, is that we as a industry, don't pollute from our responsible use of Lead, plain and simple. Never have. The study that the engineers from K*TEC Electronics have proven that the alternatives are going to be just as harmfull, probably even more so, than Lead to the environment.

If we're so worried about Lead in landfills, make it a crime for anyone to dispose of anything containing Lead into normal landfill trash...make the crime punishable with mandatory jail sentences and hefty fines. I guarantee you after a few people actually spent some time in jail, and paid some big fines, you wouldn't have to worry about people throwing toxic trash into normal trash landfills. But then, we still got those Lead soldered food cans to deal with, don't we?

What I'm trying to say, is that it's foolish to change one of our most basic processes for the wrong reasons.

A perfect example of people changing things for the wrong reasons, then winding up making things worse, is right out here in California. As some of you know, we have to burn this "reformulated" gas out here in California.

Part of this "reformulation", is using a chemical called an Oxygenate, which in theory, is supposed to cause the fuel in combustion engines to burn cleaner and reduce air pollution. The Oxygenate that was pushed by the oil companies was Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE. Interestingly enough, MTBE is a byproduct of normal petroleum refining and previously had no use, it was a waste...a very hazardous one at that...a carcinogen. As the song says; "Things that make ya' go hmmmm..."

We've been burning this crap for years out here, and they've discovered that we're finding MTBE in our aquifers, our lakes, our wells...all over!! Finally, after years of battle, study after study, Gray Davis (our new governor) has passed legislation to ban the use of MTBE after the year 2002. Thank goodness!

I'm not saying the same thing could happen with the Lead alternatives, but there's been at least one study in this early stage that proves any of the current alternatives are just as bad, or worse environmentally.

Once the decision is made, it's like pulling teeth to undo that decision. If the decision is made, it should be for good, solid, and technologically sound reasons. Not because of some trumped-up emotional rantings from some bureaucrat.

Like I said before, my opinion doesn't mean squat, and I'll be struggling right along with the rest of you building my printed circuits with some new fangled material. I just hope we're doing this for the right reasons...for all of our sakes.

-Steve Gregory-

reply »

#11602

Re: Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 3 May, 1999

Hi Ya' John!

Here's my comeback to the points you've raised...you knew I would have a comeback, didn't ya'?

|Steve, | | I see your point, and yes there are alot bigger fish to fry in |the removal or control of lead in the environment. However even |if the amount of lead that we as an industry is around 1% that |(I think..occationally)aint the whole issue. Once we've finished |building the PCB it goes to a product that is eventually binned. |The board, solder and all are usually skipped / put into |landfill and it aint that easily broken down in the environment. |When it does it seep's into water tables and plant's around and |can get back into the food chain ..back to ingesting eyuk!. | Ok so i know especially over here in europe the law's on |landfill are changing and more and more companies are becoming |responsible for the recycling of the stuff they make but is will |take time.

That's a good point, but the solution is for each one of us to become more responsible and not throw our old broke computers into the landfill trash. Just like we don't throw used motor oil, paints, insecticides, and whatnot down the storm drains. We all need to practice a little more personal responsibility!

But taking your point into consideration, are people going to be any less likely to throw old electronic parts into the trash instead of recycling what you can off the board and then treating the rest as a hazardous waste when we switch over to "Lead Free"? I don't think so, do you?

In fact, I think people will have a false sense of security because we won't use that bad lead stuff anymore. But actually what we'll have is JUST as BAD, probably WORSE than Lead to the environment! I'm not kidding one bit!

I attended the 1999 IPC Printed Circuits Expo down in Long Beach, California, and there was a presentation done by two engineers from K*Tec Electronics a Edwin B. Smith III, and a Kristine Swanger, who performed a study of 5-different "Lead-Free" solder alloys and the environmental effects should they breech a landfill and leach into the local groundwater. SMT Magazine has the same study in one of their most recent issues. I also have a *.PDF file (Adobe Acrobat) of the same study if you would like me to email it to you as an attachment.

They did the same sort of testing, following the same methods, that the United States Environmental Protection Agency does to determine whether a waste is hazardous by virtue of it's toxicity.

The actual method is called The Toxicity Characteristic Leeching Procedure or TCLP.

The law here defines a hazardous waste that presents a threat to human health and the environment when "improperly managed", such as throwing it in with your normal trash just like you said. The EPA intended this scenario to simulate a "plausible worst case" of mismanagement. They also assumed that the most likely pathway for human exposure to any toxic constituents would be through drinking water contaminated by leachate from a breeched landfill.

The solders that were tested were:

1.) 96.3% Tin, 3.2% Silver, .5% Copper 2.) 96.5% Tin, 3.5% Silver 3.) 98% Tin, 2% Silver 4.) 99.3% Tin, .7% Copper 5.) 95% Tin, 5% Antimony

Alloys of Bismuth weren't tested because the primary source of Bismuth is Lead Manufacture, and neither was Indium because it's so hard to get to begin with...there ain't enough of that stuff around for everybody to use. Zinc wasn't tested because of the poor wetting action it has, and nobody has considered using it as a surface finish on PCB's.

The test results showed that EVERY "Lead Free" alloy leached at levels above the EPA standards, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! The most horrendous one was the 95Sn 5Sb alloy. The limit for antimony is .006 mg/L in drinking water, after testing it was discovered that the antimony leached almost 10,000 the amount that is the maximum allowable! Pretty scarey if you ask me...

Bottomline, is that we as a industry, don't pollute from our responsible use of Lead, plain and simple. Never have. The study that the engineers from K*TEC Electronics have proven that the alternatives are going to be just as harmfull, probably even more so, than Lead to the environment.

If we're so worried about Lead in landfills, make it a crime for anyone to dispose of anything containing Lead into normal landfill trash...make the crime punishable with mandatory jail sentences and hefty fines. I guarantee you after a few people actually spent some time in jail, and paid some big fines, you wouldn't have to worry about people throwing toxic trash into normal trash landfills. But then, we still got those Lead soldered food cans to deal with, don't we?

What I'm trying to say, is that it's foolish to change one of our most basic processes for the wrong reasons.

A perfect example of people changing things for the wrong reasons, then winding up making things worse, is right out here in California. As some of you know, we have to burn this "reformulated" gas out here in California.

Part of this "reformulation", is using a chemical called an Oxygenate, which in theory, is supposed to cause the fuel in combustion engines to burn cleaner and reduce air pollution. The Oxygenate that was pushed by the oil companies was Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE. Interestingly enough, MTBE is a byproduct of normal petroleum refining and previously had no use, it was a waste...a very hazardous one at that...a carcinogen. As the song says; "Things that make ya' go hmmmm..."

We've been burning this crap for years out here, and they've discovered that we're finding MTBE in our aquifers, our lakes, our wells...all over!! Finally, after years of battle, study after study, Gray Davis (our new governor) has passed legislation to ban the use of MTBE after the year 2002. Thank goodness!

I'm not saying the same thing could happen with the Lead alternatives, but there's been at least one study in this early stage that proves any of the current alternatives are just as bad, or worse environmentally.

Once the decision is made, it's like pulling teeth to undo that decision. If the decision is made, it should be for good, solid, and technologically sound reasons. Not because of some trumped-up emotional rantings from some bureaucrat.

Like I said before, my opinion doesn't mean squat, and I'll be struggling right along with the rest of you building my printed circuits with some new fangled material. I just hope we're doing this for the right reasons...for all of our sakes.

-Steve Gregory-

reply »

JohnW

#11603

Re: Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 4 May, 1999

| Hi Ya' John! | | Here's my comeback to the points you've raised...you knew I would have a comeback, didn't ya'? | | |Steve, | | | | I see your point, and yes there are alot bigger fish to fry in |the removal or control of lead in the environment. However even |if the amount of lead that we as an industry is around 1% that |(I think..occationally)aint the whole issue. Once we've finished |building the PCB it goes to a product that is eventually binned. |The board, solder and all are usually skipped / put into |landfill and it aint that easily broken down in the environment. |When it does it seep's into water tables and plant's around and |can get back into the food chain ..back to ingesting eyuk!. | | Ok so i know especially over here in europe the law's on |landfill are changing and more and more companies are becoming |responsible for the recycling of the stuff they make but is will |take time. | | That's a good point, but the solution is for each one of us to become more responsible and not throw our old broke computers into the landfill trash. Just like we don't throw used motor oil, paints, insecticides, and whatnot down the storm drains. We all need to practice a little more personal responsibility! | | But taking your point into consideration, are people going to be any less likely to throw old electronic parts into the trash instead of recycling what you can off the board and then treating the rest as a hazardous waste when we switch over to "Lead Free"? I don't think so, do you? | | In fact, I think people will have a false sense of security because we won't use that bad lead stuff anymore. But actually what we'll have is JUST as BAD, probably WORSE than Lead to the environment! I'm not kidding one bit! | | I attended the 1999 IPC Printed Circuits Expo down in Long Beach, California, and there was a presentation done by two engineers from K*Tec Electronics a Edwin B. Smith III, and a Kristine Swanger, who performed a study of 5-different "Lead-Free" solder alloys and the environmental effects should they breech a landfill and leach into the local groundwater. SMT Magazine has the same study in one of their most recent issues. I also have a *.PDF file (Adobe Acrobat) of the same study if you would like me to email it to you as an attachment. | | They did the same sort of testing, following the same methods, that the United States Environmental Protection Agency does to determine whether a waste is hazardous by virtue of it's toxicity. | | The actual method is called The Toxicity Characteristic Leeching Procedure or TCLP. | | The law here defines a hazardous waste that presents a threat to human health and the environment when "improperly managed", such as throwing it in with your normal trash just like you said. The EPA intended this scenario to simulate a "plausible worst case" of mismanagement. They also assumed that the most likely pathway for human exposure to any toxic constituents would be through drinking water contaminated by leachate from a breeched landfill. | | The solders that were tested were: | | 1.) 96.3% Tin, 3.2% Silver, .5% Copper | 2.) 96.5% Tin, 3.5% Silver | 3.) 98% Tin, 2% Silver | 4.) 99.3% Tin, .7% Copper | 5.) 95% Tin, 5% Antimony | | Alloys of Bismuth weren't tested because the primary source of Bismuth is Lead Manufacture, and neither was Indium because it's so hard to get to begin with...there ain't enough of that stuff around for everybody to use. Zinc wasn't tested because of the poor wetting action it has, and nobody has considered using it as a surface finish on PCB's. | | The test results showed that EVERY "Lead Free" alloy leached at levels above the EPA standards, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! The most horrendous one was the 95Sn 5Sb alloy. The limit for antimony is .006 mg/L in drinking water, after testing it was discovered that the antimony leached almost 10,000 the amount that is the maximum allowable! Pretty scarey if you ask me... | | Bottomline, is that we as a industry, don't pollute from our responsible use of Lead, plain and simple. Never have. The study that the engineers from K*TEC Electronics have proven that the alternatives are going to be just as harmfull, probably even more so, than Lead to the environment. | | If we're so worried about Lead in landfills, make it a crime for anyone to dispose of anything containing Lead into normal landfill trash...make the crime punishable with mandatory jail sentences and hefty fines. I guarantee you after a few people actually spent some time in jail, and paid some big fines, you wouldn't have to worry about people throwing toxic trash into normal trash landfills. But then, we still got those Lead soldered food cans to deal with, don't we? | | What I'm trying to say, is that it's foolish to change one of our most basic processes for the wrong reasons. | | A perfect example of people changing things for the wrong reasons, then winding up making things worse, is right out here in California. As some of you know, we have to burn this "reformulated" gas out here in California. | | Part of this "reformulation", is using a chemical called an Oxygenate, which in theory, is supposed to cause the fuel in combustion engines to burn cleaner and reduce air pollution. The Oxygenate that was pushed by the oil companies was Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE. Interestingly enough, MTBE is a byproduct of normal petroleum refining and previously had no use, it was a waste...a very hazardous one at that...a carcinogen. As the song says; "Things that make ya' go hmmmm..." | | We've been burning this crap for years out here, and they've discovered that we're finding MTBE in our aquifers, our lakes, our wells...all over!! Finally, after years of battle, study after study, Gray Davis (our new governor) has passed legislation to ban the use of MTBE after the year 2002. Thank goodness! | | I'm not saying the same thing could happen with the Lead alternatives, but there's been at least one study in this early stage that proves any of the current alternatives are just as bad, or worse environmentally. | | Once the decision is made, it's like pulling teeth to undo that decision. If the decision is made, it should be for good, solid, and technologically sound reasons. Not because of some trumped-up emotional rantings from some bureaucrat. | | Like I said before, my opinion doesn't mean squat, and I'll be struggling right along with the rest of you building my printed circuits with some new fangled material. I just hope we're doing this for the right reasons...for all of our sakes. | | -Steve Gregory- | Steve, What your saying is bang on the mark, I dont think there are many 'useable' alternatives that wouldn't have side effect's for environment and or folk's. Problem is as I said, we're gonna get dragged along wether we want to or not, so maybe it's time for us all to point out to the bigger audience that there are serious risk's with some or all of the alternatives... I'd be interested in reading the report u got, god know's sooner or later someone upstairs will have the bright idea to jump on the bandwaggon and get short of the lead in our oplace, might be nice to confuse them with science ...

JohnW

reply »

Bernard Mulcahy

#11604

Re: Hey Ya'll, let's talk about Lead fer' a bit... | 5 May, 1999

| Hi Ya' John! | | Here's my comeback to the points you've raised...you knew I would have a comeback, didn't ya'? | | |Steve, | | | | I see your point, and yes there are alot bigger fish to fry in |the removal or control of lead in the environment. However even |if the amount of lead that we as an industry is around 1% that |(I think..occationally)aint the whole issue. Once we've finished |building the PCB it goes to a product that is eventually binned. |The board, solder and all are usually skipped / put into |landfill and it aint that easily broken down in the environment. |When it does it seep's into water tables and plant's around and |can get back into the food chain ..back to ingesting eyuk!. | | Ok so i know especially over here in europe the law's on |landfill are changing and more and more companies are becoming |responsible for the recycling of the stuff they make but is will |take time. | | That's a good point, but the solution is for each one of us to become more responsible and not throw our old broke computers into the landfill trash. Just like we don't throw used motor oil, paints, insecticides, and whatnot down the storm drains. We all need to practice a little more personal responsibility! | | But taking your point into consideration, are people going to be any less likely to throw old electronic parts into the trash instead of recycling what you can off the board and then treating the rest as a hazardous waste when we switch over to "Lead Free"? I don't think so, do you? | | In fact, I think people will have a false sense of security because we won't use that bad lead stuff anymore. But actually what we'll have is JUST as BAD, probably WORSE than Lead to the environment! I'm not kidding one bit! | | I attended the 1999 IPC Printed Circuits Expo down in Long Beach, California, and there was a presentation done by two engineers from K*Tec Electronics a Edwin B. Smith III, and a Kristine Swanger, who performed a study of 5-different "Lead-Free" solder alloys and the environmental effects should they breech a landfill and leach into the local groundwater. SMT Magazine has the same study in one of their most recent issues. I also have a *.PDF file (Adobe Acrobat) of the same study if you would like me to email it to you as an attachment. | | They did the same sort of testing, following the same methods, that the United States Environmental Protection Agency does to determine whether a waste is hazardous by virtue of it's toxicity. | | The actual method is called The Toxicity Characteristic Leeching Procedure or TCLP. | | The law here defines a hazardous waste that presents a threat to human health and the environment when "improperly managed", such as throwing it in with your normal trash just like you said. The EPA intended this scenario to simulate a "plausible worst case" of mismanagement. They also assumed that the most likely pathway for human exposure to any toxic constituents would be through drinking water contaminated by leachate from a breeched landfill. | | The solders that were tested were: | | 1.) 96.3% Tin, 3.2% Silver, .5% Copper | 2.) 96.5% Tin, 3.5% Silver | 3.) 98% Tin, 2% Silver | 4.) 99.3% Tin, .7% Copper | 5.) 95% Tin, 5% Antimony | | Alloys of Bismuth weren't tested because the primary source of Bismuth is Lead Manufacture, and neither was Indium because it's so hard to get to begin with...there ain't enough of that stuff around for everybody to use. Zinc wasn't tested because of the poor wetting action it has, and nobody has considered using it as a surface finish on PCB's. | | The test results showed that EVERY "Lead Free" alloy leached at levels above the EPA standards, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! The most horrendous one was the 95Sn 5Sb alloy. The limit for antimony is .006 mg/L in drinking water, after testing it was discovered that the antimony leached almost 10,000 the amount that is the maximum allowable! Pretty scarey if you ask me... | | Bottomline, is that we as a industry, don't pollute from our responsible use of Lead, plain and simple. Never have. The study that the engineers from K*TEC Electronics have proven that the alternatives are going to be just as harmfull, probably even more so, than Lead to the environment. | | If we're so worried about Lead in landfills, make it a crime for anyone to dispose of anything containing Lead into normal landfill trash...make the crime punishable with mandatory jail sentences and hefty fines. I guarantee you after a few people actually spent some time in jail, and paid some big fines, you wouldn't have to worry about people throwing toxic trash into normal trash landfills. But then, we still got those Lead soldered food cans to deal with, don't we? | | What I'm trying to say, is that it's foolish to change one of our most basic processes for the wrong reasons. | | A perfect example of people changing things for the wrong reasons, then winding up making things worse, is right out here in California. As some of you know, we have to burn this "reformulated" gas out here in California. | | Part of this "reformulation", is using a chemical called an Oxygenate, which in theory, is supposed to cause the fuel in combustion engines to burn cleaner and reduce air pollution. The Oxygenate that was pushed by the oil companies was Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE. Interestingly enough, MTBE is a byproduct of normal petroleum refining and previously had no use, it was a waste...a very hazardous one at that...a carcinogen. As the song says; "Things that make ya' go hmmmm..." | | We've been burning this crap for years out here, and they've discovered that we're finding MTBE in our aquifers, our lakes, our wells...all over!! Finally, after years of battle, study after study, Gray Davis (our new governor) has passed legislation to ban the use of MTBE after the year 2002. Thank goodness! | | I'm not saying the same thing could happen with the Lead alternatives, but there's been at least one study in this early stage that proves any of the current alternatives are just as bad, or worse environmentally. | | Once the decision is made, it's like pulling teeth to undo that decision. If the decision is made, it should be for good, solid, and technologically sound reasons. Not because of some trumped-up emotional rantings from some bureaucrat. | | Like I said before, my opinion doesn't mean squat, and I'll be struggling right along with the rest of you building my printed circuits with some new fangled material. I just hope we're doing this for the right reasons...for all of our sakes. | | -Steve Gregory-

| Heres two cents worth from the other side of the Alantic. Here in the good old E.C. the changes mentioned above are being railroaded in. The Electronics industry does not appear to have an effective lobby group. What is commonly known as the WEEE ( Waste from Electrical and electronic equipment) directive has reached the second draft stage without much change from the original document. This in effect means that ,baring some major shift in political thought, that the directive will become law. The main points are (1) Lead, mercury, cadmium, hexalent chromium and halogenated flame retardents are to be phase out by 2004.( exceptions are CRT's, Flourescent lamps, radiation protection.) (2) Producers ( That's us) will be reponsible for collection and recovery/recycling of up to 90% of the end of life product. The producers most pay of this either through a collective organisation or as individual companies.This includes cost of collection from domestic households. More incredibly - present day producers are responsible for historic waste.( You have to collect/pay for product produced by your c**p competitior who went out of business years ago!)

Now - the aims of this legisation are good- to reduce pollution and to reduce landfill. But what seems to have been forgotten is the cost it is going to place on an industry that is already under pressure from cheaper economies. ( Who do not have strict enviromental controls.) Be warned America- get ready becuase if it is happening here it is only a matter of time before the U.S brings in similar legislation. Prepare now by designing products that are easy to recover/recycle and keep up research into cost effective alternatives for lead etc. Steve may be right saying that the cure (lead free alloys) are worse that the disease , but that won't stop them from implementing the cure!

Bernard

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