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California RoHS is a different requirement than California Proposition 65. Following the European RoHS 1 legislation of 2002 (2002/95/EU), the State of California  required the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to enact its own RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) laws:

  • Health and Safety Code sections 25214.9-25214.10.2
  • Regulation title 22, section 66260.202

Scope of Application

California’s RoHS restricts the use of hazardous substances in covered electronic devices so that their waste isn’t released into the environment. The restrictive law applies to manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and wholesalers; that is, those who sell or offer for sale, in California, a device covered by the legislation (detailed below).

California RoHS Compliance Enviropass

Restricted Substances under California RoHS

California RoHS Heavy metals

Like EU RoHS, California’s RoHS restricts the use of:

  • Lead, 0.1% by weight

  • Mercury, 0.1% by weight

  • Cadmium, 0.01% by weight

  • Hexavalent chromium, 0.1% by weight

Covered Electronic Devices

A covered electronic device is a device identified by the DTSC as hazardous when discarded. These devices are displays (video) with screens with a measured diagonal greater than 4 inches. This includes any device that is an essential part of the display (i.e., not easily removed). The following are the 9 categories of covered electronic devices restricted by California’s RoHS.

California RoHS displays
  1. Devices containing Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT devices)
  2. CRTs
  3. Computer monitors that have CRTs
  4. Laptops with Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
  5. Desktop monitors with LCD
  6. Televisions with CRTs
  7. Televisions with LCD
  8. Plasma televisions
  9. Portable DVD players with LCD

When a new device is added to the DTSC’s list, its restriction is not immediate. The device only becomes regulated starting July 1st of the following year. Therefore, California’s RoHS only applies to covered devices manufactured after the date it became official (i.e., July 1st).

Products Excluded from California RoHS

The following devices are exempt from California’s RoHS regulations.

  • A video display incorporated into a motor vehicle, including any part assembled for or by a vehicle manufacturer (or franchiser). Replacement parts are also exempt.
  • A video display incorporated in industrial, commercial, or medical; monitoring or control devices.
  • A video display incorporated in a washing machine; dryer; refrigerator and related equipment; microwave; oven; dishwasher; and portable air conditioning, dehumidifying, or purifying equipment.
  • Any device on or after the date it ceases to be covered by the regulations.

Manufacturer Responsibilities

As a manufacturer of covered electronic devices, an annual report must be submitted, detailing specific information on the use of substances covered by the regulations. CalRecycle must receive these complete reports to fulfill this responsibility.

Finally, California Proposition 65 (also referred to as Prop. 65) applies to most consumer and professional products placed in the California market, with the obligation to communicate hazardous substances under certain conditions.


Europe’s RoHS VS California’s

California’s RoHS is heavily modeled after the EU Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS). Therefore, the obligations are similar to the Europe RoHS in its first version.

California prevents the DTSC from restricting products that are NOT restricted by the EU. However, a product restricted in the EU that is NOT a covered electronic device, cannot be prohibited from sale in California. Therefore, a product – covered electronic device – exempt from the first EU Directive, is also exempt from California’s, regardless of the substance concentration limits.

Some aspects of California’s regulations differ from Europe’s.

  • EU RoHS restricts electrical and electronic equipment, a far greater scope than California who only restricts “covered electronic devices” as mentioned above.
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), as well as the 4 phthalates restricted by EU RoHS, are not yet restricted by California’s RoHS.
  • In the EU, devices are subject to RoHS regardless of when they were manufactured relative to the start of the Directive. In California, covered electronic devices are subject to RoHS only if manufactured on or after the date of issue.

To help you sell electronic or electrical products in California, Enviropass provides product testing and assessments to make sure you comply with the Californian RoHS requirements.

Should you have any questions on California RoHS, please contact Enviropass.