Policies threaten industrial computer shutdown

Tuesday 28 April 2009, 3:26PM
By Seeking Publicity


Policies introduced by the European Union (EU) and China to limit the amount of hazardous substances in electric and electronic equipment could lead to the failure of centralised computer systems in New Zealand, according to a local expert.

The Restriction of the use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) was introduced by the EU in 2006 and applies to all member countries. It limits the use of lead and other dangerous substances. China introduced a similar policy the following year.

“Without using banned metals, particularly lead, in the construction of integrated circuit cards that go into computers, the risk of contaminant gases such as sulfur corroding the hardware of computer systems increases greatly,” says IPSCO spokesman Mark Holm. IPSCO is a company specialising in air filtration solutions that include anti-corrosive systems.

“It has already become a common occurrence overseas, and as more and more RoHS compliant products reach New Zealand, it will become more common in this country.”

Mr Holm says the risk is greatest in industrial environments such as pulp and paper mills or geothermal power stations.

“There is also a unique problem in Rotorua with all the hydrogen sulphide in the air. This could have a corrosive affect on systems used by banks, hotels and even domestic PCs and laptops,” he concludes.

For more information: Mark Holm: 021 948 185 09 279 2880