RoHS and DFARS are both regulatory standards that apply to the metal industry. Today, I'll explain what RoHS and DFARS are and what industries they affect. Then, I'll explain why complying with these regulations matters and what it has to do with the metal service centers you work with.
What is RoHS?
RoHS, which stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances, restricts materials known to be hazardous to the environment, including those that pollute landfills. The materials restricted under RoHS can be dangerous to those who are exposed to them during manufacturing and recycling.
The origin of RoHS can be traced to the European electronics industry. Due to how commonplace recycling is in Europe, many of the substances RoHS concerns itself with are those deemed hazardous to the environment.
If the use of those hazardous metals is restricted, it reduces the likelihood they will make it into the recycling mix at harmful levels. RoHS became a part of European law in 2003.
What is DFARS?
DFARS, which stands for Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, is intended to support a preference for and a use of domestic specialty metals. Basically, DFARS states that in order for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to use specialty metals, those metals must be melted either within the United States or a qualifying country.
Why RoHS and DFARS Compliance Matters
In the case of RoHS, the primary purpose is to regulate and limit the use of potentially hazardous materials - those that are known to be damaging to the environment.
In the case of DFARS, the primary purpose is to reduce or eliminate the possibility of contamination of metal materials and ensure quality standards are met. While other industries are preferential to DFARS compliant metal, the automotive industry and any industry that supplies the DoD require DFARS compliant metals.
For either compliance standard, it's important to have your documentation in order. The metal service center you work with should provide you with the source information for verification. Because the usability of many end products depends on documented compliance, working with a service center you can trust is quite valuable. That way, you can be assured they are providing metal products that meet your standards.
Compliance at Mead Metals
Here at Mead Metals, meeting RoHS and DFARS compliance standards is, well, standard. Our preference is to purchase domestically sourced metals whenever feasible. If not domestic, than from a DFARS compliant country - the only exception is in cases where a metal cannot be mined in an approved country. As a matter of principle, we purchase prime materials because of our own quality standards.
We've built strong, long-lasting relationships with the mills we source our materials from, and our customers are able to benefit from the quality materials and the clear documentation that result from those relationships.