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Sweden’s Chemical Agency (Kemi) found banned chemicals in nearly 40 percent of audited low-cost electrical and electronic products. The audits, which took place throughout 2016, revealed that the discount electronics category has a “high rate of noncompliance” with Swedish and European Union RoHS and Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs) requirements. Labeling and documentation obligations under REACH and other regulations were also frequently found to be absent.
During 2016, Kemi audited 84 companies and analyzed the chemical content of 154 products, with short-chain chlorinated paraffins (banned under the Stockholm Convention on (PoPs) and lead (banned under RoHS). Most of the products that were examined originated in China, included bike lights, headphones, USB cables and Christmas decorations.
Kemi reports manufacturers and importers for suspicion of crime when their products contain substances restricted under the RoHS Directive. When products contain substances which are restricted under the PoPs regulation or which are regulated under the REACH regulation, both manufacturers, importers and distributors are reported to the environmental prosecutor.