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Oeko-Institut opens Consultation on Two RoHS Exemptions for Cadmium Quantum Dots

The Oeko-Institut has opened a consultation on the re-evaluation of two requests to renew select exemptions for cadmium quantum dots (Cd QD) under the Restrictions of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (RoHS2). The organisation is authorized by the European Commission to evaluate exemption requests and determine if the substances meet the criteria set out on article 5(1)(a) of the directive.

Oeko-Institute originally assessed the renewals requests in 2013 (original exemptions were issued in 2009), which covered the use of cadmium quantum dots in light-emitting diode (LED) displays and lighting:

  • Exemption request 2013-2 "Cadmium in color converting II-VI LEDs (< 10 μg Cd per mm2 of light-emitting area) for use in solid state illumination or display systems"
  • Exemption request 2013-5 "Cadmium in light control materials used for display devices"

In 2014, Oeko-Institut recommended  ‘not granting an exemption for Cd in QD applications to be used in solid state lighting’ while granting an exemption on the use of Cd QD in displays ‘where the cadmium per display screen area is limited to less than 0.2 μg/mm²’. The European Commission submitted a delegated act to the European Parliament in January 2015 that would implement this recommendation.

In May 2015, however, Members of the European Parliament objected to the delegated act and called for ‘a swift reassessment of the existing exemption […] against the conditions of article 5(1)(a)’ in which the conditions for exempting a substance from RoHS2 are laid out. This has sent the exemption requests back to Oeko-Institut who has opened a new consultation on the joint revaluation of these two exemptions with a 8 January 2016 deadline.

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