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8 The PCB Magazine • July 2014 Solder is unquestionably highly practical technology for joining metals, and carries with it a long history. Its roots go back more than 2,000 years. Somewhere in the distant past, one of our more clever and observant ancestors chanced to create an alloy of tin and lead that melted at a low temperature. They or someone who learned of their discovery found that this unique combination of elements could be used to join pieces of metal together. This combina- tion of chance observation and applied imagination has proven a key devel- opment in the tech- nological history of mankind. Those in the electronics industry of today are very famil- iar with this ancient technology and to- day it is still the method of choice for making elec- tronic assemblies of every sort. The only fly in the ointment is that the EU parliament, in a mad rush to try to look "green," took the emotional and scientifi- cally ill-advised position that lead needed to be banned from electronic solders. Sadly, there was never presented a credible piece of scientific evidence that any user had ever been harmed by tin-lead solder in electron- ic equipment. Nor could they prove their asser- tion that it would be a risk to ground water. That said, it is true that greed and complete misman- agement of elec- tronic waste board- ing on criminal be- havior, has resulted in physical illness and environmental harm in areas of the world where uncon- trolled recycling was being carried out by uneducated indi- viduals. While all electroNic iNtercoNNectioNs c o l u M n by Joe Fjelstad Verdant electronicS Electronic Assembly with Solder: an Unblinking Look at "The Devil We Know"

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