I have mentioned numerous times that the first purpose of RoHS is to help make recycling easier. So RoHS was developed to support WEEE. One would imagine that, in doing this, the EU was primarily concerned with recycling in the EU.
Fortunately, thousands of folks in the Third World will benefit from RoHS, as much recycling is performed by poor people in these countries. When they recycle non-RoHS-compliant scrap electronics, they are being poisoned by lead, cadmium, mercury, and smoke from non-banned organic compounds. This sad situation was again recently brought out in a New York Times article.
As more and more waste electronics becomes RoHS compliant, the amount of toxic material that these people are exposed to will become less and less. It still shocks me that, when I point out this benefit, a person comments something like this:
“You mean I have to put up with RoHS just to help these people?”
It is my fervent hope that very few of us feel this way.