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Current information regarding TCO'99 approved and labelled products may also be obtained via
the Internet, using the address:
Flame retardants are present in printed circuit boards, cables, wires, casings and housings. Their
purpose is to prevent, or at least to delay the spread of fire. Up to 30% of the plastic in a computer
casing can consist of flame retardant substances. Most flame retardants contain bromine or
chloride, and those flame retardants are chemically related to another group of environmental
toxins, PCBs. Both the flame retardants containing bromine or chloride and the PCBs are
suspected of giving rise to severe health effects, including reproductive damage in fish-eating
birds and mammals, due to the bio-accumulative* processes. Flame retardants have been found
in human blood and researchers fear that disturbances in foetus development may occur.
The relevant TCO'99 demand requires that plastic components weighing more than 25 grams
must not contain flame retardants with organically bound bromine or chlorine. Flame retardants
are allowed in the printed circuit boards since no substitutes are available.
Cadmium is present in rechargeable batteries and in the colour-generating layers of certain
computer displays. Cadmium damages the nervous system and is toxic in high doses. The
relevant TCO'99 requirement states that batteries, the colour-generating layers of display screens
and the electrical or electronics components must not contain any cadmium.
Mercury is sometimes found in batteries, relays and switches. It damages the nervous system and
is toxic in high doses. The relevant TCO'99 requirement states that batteries may not contain any
mercury. It also demands that mercury is not present in any of the electrical or electronics
components associated with the labelled unit. There is however one exception. Mercury is, for the
time being, permitted in the back light system of flat panel monitors as today there is no
commercially available alternative. TCO aims on removing this exception when a Mercury free
alternative is available.
The relevant TCO'99 requirement states that neither CFCs nor HCFCs may be used during the
manufacture and assembly of the product. CFCs (freons) are sometimes used for washing printed
circuit boards. CFCs break down ozone and thereby damage the ozone layer in the stratosphere,
causing increased reception on earth of ultraviolet light with e.g. increased risks of skin cancer
(malignant melanoma) as a consequence.
Lead can be found in picture tubes, display screens, solders and capacitors. Lead damages the
nervous system and in higher doses, causes lead poisoning. The relevant TCO'99 requirement
permits the inclusion of lead since no replacement has yet been developed.
TCO'03-Ecological requirements for personal computers (TCO'03 applied model only)
The display you have just purchased carries the TCO’03 Displays label. This means that your
display is designed, manufactured and tested according to some of the strictest quality and
environmental requirements in the world. This makes for a high performance product, designed
with the user in focus that also minimizes the impact on our natural environment.
Some of the features of the TCO’03 Display requirements:
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