Rohm and Haas launched their first leadfree adhesives as soon as 1998 and thus anticipated the coming into force of a European directive forbidding car manufacturers to use parts containing lead byproducts in July 2003. Long before this cutoff date, Rohm and Haas, who see 80% of their rubber-metal adhesives used by the car industry, thus decided to substitute lead by-products by other components.
"All our customers could thus anticipate the enforcement of the legislation" says Christian Siest, the Director of the Semoy site. Other customers who were not bound by the European directive such as Asian customers or customers manufacturing socalled "industrial" parts such as anti-vibrations parts for the rail industry, printing rollers or bridge supports still remained to be persuaded to use these leadfree adhesives. Christian Siest adds: "The quality of our products and the fact that we raised their operators’ awareness of the possible risks persuaded them". The Rohm and Haas teams progressively managed to persuade all of their customers. As a result, not one single gram of lead has been used at the Semoy plant since the beginning of the year.