The European Union (EU) proclaimed the RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) Directive in February 2003.
The aim of the RoHS Directive is to eliminate heavy metals, including lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chrome, and polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants from new electrical equipment.
Due to this directive, manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment must consider the concentration of the above hazardous substances in products introduced into the European market.

Shimadzu develops and manufactures a range of instruments and guides customers through application development and investigation methods to help configure a system that complies with RoHS. Shimadzu instruments for inspections under the RoHS Directive include the Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (EDXRF) for which Shimadzu holds an overwhelming market share, as well as the ICP Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES)/ICP Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS), Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AA), UV-VIS Spectrophotometer, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (FTIR), and Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS).