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Sledgehead

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  1. EU TO BAN USE OF LEAD IN SOLDER FROM JULY 1 2006 Introduction The Sunday Telegraph today draws our attention to an EU directive that could impact far and wide. In an article entitled "Is this the craziest EU law of all", the writer describes how, on the basis of flawed research, the EU will, from July 1st 2006 (ie almost NOW) be : "banning any use of lead and five other metals in electronic products." It explains the implications : "This means that all electronics firms in the EU, and enyone wishing to export into the EU, have had to find lead-free substitues, not least for the mass of solder in every computer circuit board." The EU Directive & RoHS General Thrust. The change in the law governing use of lead is to be found in the DIRECTIVE 2002/95/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL, of 27 January 2003, on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. The relevant text is: (5) .... collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) ... are necessary to reduce the waste management problems linked to the heavy metals concerned and the flame retardants concerned. In spite of those measures, however, significant parts of WEEE will continue to be found in the current disposal routes. Even if WEEE were collected separately and submitted to recycling processes, its content of mercury, cadmium, lead, chromium VI, PBB and PBDE would be likely to pose risks to health or the environment. (6) Taking into account technical and economic feasibility, the most effective way of ensuring the significant reduction of risks to health and the environment ... is the substitution of those substances in electrical and electronic equipment by safe or safer materials. It is made clear that this law countermands any national or regional laws relating to such substances. Exemptions & Caveats From the Directive: (11) Exemptions from the substitution requirement should be permitted if substitution is not possible from the scientific and technical point of view or if the negative environmental or health impacts caused by substitution are likely to outweigh the human and environmental benefits of the substitution. Substitution of the hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment should also be carried out in a way so as to be compatible with the health and safety of users of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). Technically, unresolved problems exist with respect to all-tin solder alternatives. In particular, the phenomenon of "Tin Whiskers" can seriously compromise electronic equipment. This have been documented by NASA, who, after losing billions due to this phenomenon, have produced a webpage with lots of pictures. Here is just one example of an intergrated circuit displaying this problem: These photos are accompanied by an anecdotal concerning circuit failure: "Failure occurred circa 2002 (> 20 YEARS after system was first assembled) due to a permanent "low current" short caused by a tin whisker that bridged two adjacent pins on the IC. Estimated shorting distance between pins is 30 - 40 mils (0.75 - 1.0 mm). " It is interesting to note that the Sunday Telegraph article maintains that military application EEE is exempt from the directive (although the directive makes no reference to this - see * below for RoHS view), which gives weight to the notion that lead alternatives are technically suspect and thus unreliable. Environmentally, again the Sunday Telegraph claims that the original research into the environmental impact was faulted and has since been discreditted by various parties including the author of th eoriginal, faulted report. Taken together, technical and environmental considerations seem to suggest the Directive will have little impact and can be read more as a wish list for th efuture (when problems have been overcome). This however is not the impression given by the Telegraph which describes the billions of $ that will be wasted complying. One must however remeber that the Telegraph group of papers are extremely Euro-sceptic and might be using the issue to, once more, brand the EU as a barmy idea. Assessment of Impact ________________________________________________________________________________ __ * My doubts about this per se military exemption are reinforced by the RoHS ( Restriction of the use of Certain Hazardous Substances ) website states in its FAQs: Military, national security and fixed installations These are not specifically mentioned in the draft regulations nor the directive. The DTI ‘s view is that 2.1 and 2.3 of the WEEE directive apply to RoHS. The Commission FAQ makes a statement along similar lines but only as a footnote not within the main body table of their FAQ making us question its status. We have requested clear policy on this from the DTI. As the designated enforcement body we would not offer an opinion on products in these areas until we have this clear policy. So maybe there is just a bit too much anti-European sentiment in the famously anti=European Telegraph... [work in progress, would prefer it if you held comments back 'til I finish. Cheers]
  2. Thought I'd share this here seeing as I'd gone to the trouble of VBAing it together. ftse / gold / housing chart If that link proves to be fleeting, try this HPC link and look for my attachments. (PS: if the webmaster wants to make my life easier he could give me attachment permissions here. Promise not to post too much farmyard porn - honest!)
  3. It is a start: Homes to be energy-saving rated The new packs will give houses an energy efficiency rating Every house sold in England and Wales will be given an energy efficiency rating like those found on electrical goods, the government will announce. The Energy Performance Certificate will be part of the new Home Information Packs being introduced next June. Unfortunately the Gov missed a trick. They could have waved or reduced stamp duty for the most efficient houses, but decided not to. Still ... ... interestingly, the houses the Beeb chose to visit inn their News24 package on this were quite clearly built from modern materials - ie NOT bricks and mortar .... they looked pre-built to me... but I could be wrong. The anchor accused Housing minister Yvette Cooper of trying to undermine the price of older houses, including Britains large Victorian stock (paranoid?) ... those Victorians sure are costing is a fortune one way and another ( Victorian water legacy needs facelift - "Thames Water has recently proposed a £4bn investment programme to upgrade the city's oldest water mains and sewers. " ) Survey will cost £250. More jobs for the boyz. Details on WHAT will make your house better rated are not available to me, but solar panels and other micro-generation measures will help. Insulation , both loft and cavity are clearly advantageous. When financial incentives are given in council taxes this may add to growing interest in green things. Housing minister Yvette Cooper claimed to be interested in the idea of council tax reductions. In the meantime high energy prices could persuade tenants to go for lets with better ratings. I wonder how many one-man-and-his-band developments have placed energy efficiency at the top of their agenda when developing for letting ... judging by the cult of "space", not many... Links: South-West Eco-Homes, the Beeb featured eco development, Langport, Somerset Green Building Webring
  4. Sledgehead

    Anti-Gravity - already being used?

    When faced with tosh like that promulgated by McKinnon we should ask of them not what anti-gravity is but whether they even know what gravity is. If they can't answer that (and nobody has defiitively done so) what right have they to start talking of anit-gravity, let alone speculating about devices that produce it. If I was Doc Bubb I'd delete this stupid thread. All imho
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