Need of the Hour: Lead-free PCBs
As consumers are quickly getting rid of their electronic devices and replacing them with new ones, our landfills are filling up with used electronic devices. Lead in PCBs poses a threat to the environment and hence is a cause for concern from the legislative side. Therefore, most organizations are moving away from this hazardous element by opting for lead-free PCB’s.
Why Lead-free PCBs?
There are many reasons to opt for lead-free PCBs including the following:
- Handling lead directly can be harmful to the people manufacturing the products. Lead is harmful if it comes in contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. Even lead fumes can be hazardous to health. Hence, for the safety of the people working in PCB manufacturing units, lead should be replaced with safer products.
- Lead-free PCBs allow users to remain RoHS compliant. Most organizations who supply RoHS compliant products will need to incorporate lead-free PCBs into their applications.
- Looking at the wide effects on use of lead in electronic products, the environment comes into focus. Approximately 4% of landfill waste consists of electronic products. Hundreds of thousands of tons of lead-based electronic products occupy landfills every year. Since rainfall has become more acidic, the rain that falls on these products leaches the lead into the soil. This contaminates our water systems reaching our crops and us.
- Lead requires higher temperatures to melt. Therefore, there will be a reduction in the cost associated with melting lead-based solder. This will help lower the overall cost of the product.
As consumers are using more and more electronic products, it is important to pay heed to this undesirable substance. Saving our environment and the people using these products should be the first point of concern for any electronic PCB manufacturer.
When it comes to the use of lead in electronic products, it is important to recycle the used lead as well as find alternatives to this material. Manufacturers of both PCB’s and electronic products should be concerned about the lead used in their products. Petroleum exemplifies the positive effects of banning lead. When lead in petroleum was banned, the level of lead in bloodstreams decreased. By not using lead in PCB’s, one can expect a healthier environment within and outside us.