RoHS refers to Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). It is illegal to place EEE products on the market that are non-compliant with RoHS, and doing so risks criminal prosecution, with potentially unlimited fines on conviction.
The original RoHS legislation was made in 2003. Under RoHS, EEE must not contain the restricted substances, which comprised lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). Only trace amounts, no higher than the specified “maximum concentration value by weight in homogeneous materials” may be tolerated. There are also exemptions for certain uses.
Now, Directive 2015/863, which updates RoHS, has added four phthalates (chemicals typically used to soften plastic) to the restricted list from 22 July 2019: butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP).