, , ,

Lead was the go-to material for shielding for a number of decades because of the fact that it was cheap, effective and easy-to-use. However, the health and environment concerns being posed by lead somewhat defeated the entire purpose, and countries have imposed increasingly stringent regulations with regards to the use and sale of lead-based products.

What is Lead Regulation?

Lead poisoning refers to a chronic or acute poisoning that takes place due to the absorption of lead in the human body. Lead poisoning has become a common problem for countries around the world, and this has led to the creation of certain lead regulations that try to cut down on the use of lead.With the advent of more viable and cost-effective lead replacement materials, governments and industry regulators have greater potentialto address public and environmental health concerns posed by lead products.

The Growing Regulations Against Lead

The US and the European Union have passed a number of laws against lead use that address common issues such as lead in air, lead in water, lead in paint and soil and lead in waste. One of the most important regulations passed in the matter was Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), a directive that become a European law in the year 2003. The law placed restrictions on the use of certain substances (including lead) in the EU with effect from July 1, 2006. Those who don’t comply with the guidelines face a risk of penalties such as fines, forfeiting the right to sell in the EU, and impounded goods.

Lead: The Back-Loaded Cost Material

Perhaps, the biggest case in point that has begun convincing people to shift from the use of lead towards a lead substitute is that the lead is a back-loaded cost material. In other words, buying lead materials might be cheap, but handling and disposing these materials is becoming increasingly expensive. Let’s take the example of a gun range. Lead bullets might be cheaper when compared to lead-free ammunition, but the need to disposeshell casings in a safe manner and the increasing regulations makes using lead a costly affair in the long run. Not to mention the number of health risks (and potential lawsuits therefrom) the gun range, its employees and customers are exposed to.

Improving Supply Chains

Companies have begun to realize that supply chain refers to much more than the cost incurred in getting the product into the hands of the consumers. As a result, many organizations have set up efficient global supply chains to gain a competitive advantage. The best organizations are reinventing their supply chains, and by doing so, have been able to reduce risks and respond better to the changing technological and economic environment. One such change has involvedlead alternatives. Replacing a material like lead with non-toxic alternatives such as lead-free radiation shielding materials allows a company to produce one product that satisfiesthe regulatory requirements of and can sell into all international markets, thereby helping to achieve greater economies of scale and to maximize profits.

Introducing Lead-Free Shielding Materials

Ecomass Compounds are non-toxic high density materials that can be used as lead-free alternatives to help your organization overcome regulatory concerns and meet international health and industry standards. These compounds can achieve the equivalent density of lead (11 g/cc)and thereby offer 100% lead equivalency shielding, but without any of the toxic constituents of lead.Furthermore, they can be produced via injection molding, an incredibly cost-effective production process. Lean more about lead replacement and high density plastics at http://www.ecomass.com.