Non-RoHS parts and lead content


I was wondering the safety of using non-RoHS parts for hobby projects. I already use non-leaded solder, but some of the parts I have are not RoHS compliant. How much would I, and my family, be exposed to lead for parts like resistors, if I were to handle them? How much lead is actually in these parts that I would be exposed to? Thanks!

As long as you don’t eat the parts and wash your hands after handling them there is no danger. Once the parts are inside a case where you won’t directly touch them they are completely safe.

I would advise contacting to provide documentation on RoHS status as well as an Material Declaration Sheet for the parts in question. Typically, a RoHS status is for environmental safety as the breakdown of parts that contain the chemicals restricted by the initiative have a bad effect on the environment. Chemical concentration will vary depending on the component size.

I’m with Paul on this one–exercise a bit of good sense and the potential hazard from lead exposure drops below that of others, such as grabbing the wrong end of the soldering iron. Metallic lead is not that easy to metabolize through direct contact. Snorting a finely ground powder of its oxide or imbibing an acetate solution of the stuff are different matters, just like we sprinkle sodium and chlorine on our food in combined form as table salt, but probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much were they to be added separately in their elemental form…

Don’t eat parts with a lead finish. Don’t use them as a pickle seasoning. Don’t sprinkle them in the toddler’s playpen, because small sharp things pose choking and GI tract injury hazards regardless of what they’re made of.

Personally, I much prefer lead-bearing solder for electronics work and reserve the lead-free stuff for the plumbing toolbox.

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