Okeo Institute Recommends Cadmium Exemption in Displays

Jun 17, 2016 5:00 PM ET

Earlier this month Okeo Institute, the advisory organization to the EU on RoHS exemptions, recommended a 3-year exemption for the usage of cadmium-selenium quantum dot (CdSe QD) technology in LED displays, as well as cadmium in color converting II-IV LEDs. The Okeo Institute found that CdSe QD technology demonstrated higher color performance and energy efficiency compared to alternatives. 

An exemption currently exists for these uses of cadmium under RoHS2. The European Parliament had rejected a previous proposal by the European Commission to extend the exemption to 2017, prompting this re-evaluation of the exemption.

Exemptions are provided if at least one of the following standards are met, as defined by RoHS Article 5(1)(a):

  • Elimination or substitution of the components is not practical or possible

  • The negative health and environmental impacts of substitution outweigh the benefits

  • The reliability of the substitute is uncertain

The list of valid RoHS exemptions is always in flux. Expiration dates are defined in the RoHS directive, but companies can request to extend sunset dates and apply for new exemptions.  Products initially compliant under an exemption can become non-compliant once the exemption expires, or may stay compliant if a request to extend the sunset date is approved. It is crucial for companies to know the latest updates to RoHS exemptions in order to stay RoHS compliant.