NEMA Environmental Stewardship Initiative
In 2006, NEMA announced a voluntary, industry-wide commitment known as the NEMA “Call to Action” through which NEMA members would reduce, and where possible eliminate the use of six toxic substances from electrical products.
These substances - lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers – were targeted in the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which applied only to products placed on the market in EU member states. By this commitment, however, NEMA members were extending their compliance with the RoHS standard to all markets in which electro-industry products are sold. NEMA’s goal was to achieve wide-ranging compliance with this initiative, while granting exemptions in cases where meeting the thresholds is not yet technologically feasible.
As a result of the NEMA Call to Action, a broad range of electrical product sectors are now compliant with the substance thresholds globally and have thereby reduced or eliminated their use of mercury, lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, or brominated flame retardants, as applicable to the specific products.
Industry sectors that reported success include energy-efficient lamps, electrical conduit, magnet wire, insulating materials, industrial automation controls, surge protective devices, electrical outlets and switch boxes, cable tray systems, and flexible electrical cords.
The Call to Action initiative also includes a second phase to identify further product stewardship measures, such as additional hazardous materials reductions and recycling programs. NEMA’s goal is for its members to have these additional “Phase II” initiatives in place by July 2014.
In response, various sections within the industry have undertaken measures to identify hazardous substances in their products and evaluate options for reduction or substitution.
U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
NEMA Statement of Principles on End-of-life Management of Electrical Products
End-of-life management programs involving collection and recycling are environmentally preferable for some products, but must be carefully structured to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Click on the link below to view NEMA’s position on end-of-life management policies for electrical products.
NEMA Carbon Footprint Initiative
Waste in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
Revision/Recast of Directive on Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)
Reference Documents on EU RoHS
Energy Using Products (EuP)
Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restrictions of Chemicals (REACH)
California Safer Consumer Product Regulations – formerly Green Chemistry
NEMA Section Position Statements
Steel Rigid Conduit
Imaging and Therapy Systems