Cadmium Conetnt Analysis

Certain Types of Rechageable Batteries Contain Cadmium

APPLIED TECHNICAL SERVICES PROVIDES CADMIUM (CD) TESTING TO HELP CLIENTS ACHIEVE COMPLIANCE WITH ROHS. AS CERTIFIED COMPLIANCE IS A NECESSITY FOR ANY MANUFACTURER OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SELLING IN THE EUROPEAN MARKET, ATS DELIVERS THE CHEMICAL ANALYSIS NEEDED TO DETERMINE YOUR PRODUCT’S COMPLIANCE WITH ROHS STANDARDS.

Toxicants in Electronics

Cadmium is a metal with various physical properties that make it attractive to manufacturers — it is an apt electrical conductor, endures high temperatures, and resists corrosion. These characteristics have led to its primary use in manufacturing as a component in rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries. These batteries are widely used in Chinese products and have found a demand in the U.S, to which $39million worth was exported last year. Chronically poor rates of recycling electronics, including those that are powered by NiCd batteries, present a problem, however.

Despite its uses as a material in rechargeable batteries, cadmium is also highly toxic to humans. Consumer and environmental health concerns prompted multiple regulatory bodies to limit the use of cadmium in products.


RoHS and Regulations

One such initiative led by the European Union (EU) is called the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), which restricts the use of certain materials (including cadmium) in consumer electronic products. Manufacturers and distributors are both held responsible under these guidelines, and a product’s non-compliance may result in punitive fines or denial of import.

Regulations (continued)

RoHS restricts the use of certain substances — toxic metals, brominated flame retardants, and phthalates — in consumer electronics sold in the EU. While other restricted materials meet compliance standards if they make up fewer than 1,000 parts-per-million (ppm) of a product, cadmium (like mercury) must compose less than 100 ppm of a product’s chemical makeup or 0.01% of its mass.

The limits that RoHS sets for compliance do not apply to the whole of a product, but to each component that can be mechanically separated from the whole. For example, the NiCd batteries powering a flashlight must be shown to contain less than 100 ppm of cadmium upon chemical analysis, because they can be removed from the entirety of the product. Only after each component is individually judged to be compliant in this way can the product be cleared for sale in the EU.

Manufacturers must certify that their products are compliant before they may be sold in the EU and proving compliance is provided by third-party testing services. To provide for the needs of our clients trying to sell consumer electronics in the EU, Applied Technical Services offers cadmium testing capabilities to help insure that their products are RoHS compliant.


About Our Method: ICP-AES

The method we use to test products for cadmium is called Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), which we perform to ASTM standard 1479. ICP-AES is a destructive test because it calls for the acid digestion of the sample matrix. Our chemists use ICP-AES techniques to find other toxic chemicals regulated by RoHS, namely mercury, chromium, and lead. ATS’ chemical analysis lab is A2LA accredited to perform ASTM 1479 for the detection and measurement of the above substances.


ATS and RoHS Compliance

ATS has been providing testing, inspection, and engineering consulting services of a peerless caliber for over 50 years. We proudly serve clients from a variety of industries located around the world. Our lab can return accurate results quickly because of ATS’ powerful analytical equipment and our chemists’ experience performing ASTM 1479 to detect cadmium content. If you need help getting your product RoHS compliant, contact ATS today — we take a closer look.

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