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Topic: Always hard for me to find 96/4 lead free solder. (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Lead solder gives off lead-oxide fumes - its a poison that causes permanent impairment of brain-function in children.  Some people may be happy to take the risk of poisoning themselves, but keep lead and lead fumes away from children for their sakes please.

Since the metal is soft it rubs off invisibly onto the hands too, and ordinary soap is no good at removing it (see barchart here: http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1262 )

Years ago I used lead/tin solder and now use lead-free (as lead/tin solder is illegal in Europe now), and there is no difference in performance, so long as you set your iron to the correct temperature.  I don't feel the need to scrub my hands raw after soldering and before eating now either!!
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...as lead/tin solder is illegal in Europe now...

Just to be clear, the thing that is illegal is to use leaded solder in the manufacture new equipment and then to sell that equipment in Europe. Leaded solder is still permitted when building prototypes and for hobbyist use - although retail outlets here in the UK tend to sell only lead-free solder now.
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Jul 22, 2012, 09:17 pm Last Edit: Jul 22, 2012, 09:19 pm by WillR Reason: 1
dc42 (and others)

Lead / Tin solder is NOT illegal in the EU for "Fine Trace" boards. (I believe that people use .650 mm trace spacing for this standard.)

The problems with Tin Whiskers is serious enough that exertions are (routinely) granted for "fine trace" boards.

See here:

Pg 19/29 for example.

See here as well:

Whoever brought up the dangers of lead: Spare us the lectures on the dangers of lead. People in engineering and design are well aware of the dangers.

Just another Hacker


Whoever brought up the dangers of lead: Spare us the lectures on the dangers of lead. People in engineering and design are well aware of the dangers.

And, of course everyone reading this forum is either an engineer or an experienced designer.
... it is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday
facilitate a police state. -- Bruce Schneier


I'll say that regardless of the solder type, buying and using a small fume extractor is a good idea. Not expensive and effective.

I plan on switching to lead-free as experience permits. Now that I have a reflow oven almost set up, making the switch may be within reach. I just have to verify that the heat up times are within spec as far as the profiles are concerned. I'll check on the solder sold by Sparkfun, thanks for the suggestion!

In the meantime, chelating soap is available from McMaster Carr and other outlets. Not that hard to use nor that expensive.

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