In a post to one of the public electronics manufacturing e-mail forums, one engineer writes:
We are currently using Weller WTCP 50 and WTCP 51 solder stations and I want to continue using these for our RoHS compliant production lines. I therefore need to ensure that our boards are not contaminated by the solder tips. I took some unused solder tips and had them tested, and found that they contain levels of lead well in excess of the RoHS limit.
Talking to ((their supplier)), I understand they have been advised by their solder station suppliers that solder tips do not fall under the RoHS directive, as they do not form part of an electronic product. They advise tinning the tip to act as a suitable barrier against lead leaching into the solder joint. This all sounds a bit risky.
We agree, it doesn’t sound right, does it? Why run the risk of adding any lead to your lead-free process?
All our Plato® Soldering and Desoldering tips manufactured since January 2004 are lead-free in accordance with EU Directive 2002/95 EC. These products may be used in an electronics manufacturing process which produces RoHS compliant products. Please let us know if you want to try some.