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burden on the environment and also to the further development of environmentally adapted
This product meets the requirements for the TCO'99 scheme which provides for an international
environmental and quality labelling labelling of personal computers. The labelling scheme was
developed as a joint effort by the TCO(The Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees),
Svenska Naturskyddsforeningen(The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation), Statens
Energimyndighet(The Swedish National Energy Administration) and SEMKO AB.
The requirements cover a wide range of issuse: environment, ergonomics, usability, reduction of
electric and magnetic fields, energy consumption and electrical safety.
Why do we have environmentally labelled computers?
In many countries, environmental labelling has become an established method for encouraging
the adaptation of goods and services to the environment. The main problem, as far as computers
and other electronics equipment are concerned, is that environmentally harmful substances are
used both in the products and during their manufacture. Since it is not so far possible to
satisfactorily recycle the majority of electronics equipment, most of these potentially damaging
substances sooner or later enter nature.
There are also other characteristics of a computer, such as energy consumption levels, that are
important from the viewpoints of both the work (internal) and natural (external) environments.
Since all methods of electricity generation have a negative effect on the environment (e.g. acidic
and climate-influencing emissions, radioactive waste), it is vital to save energy. Electronics
equipment in offices is often left running continuously and thereby consumes a lot of energy.
What does labelling involve?
The environmental demands has been developed by Svenska Naturskyddsforeningen (The
Swedish Society for Nature Conservation). These demands impose restrictions on the presence
and use of heavy metals, brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, CFCs(freons)and
chlorinated solvents, among other things. The product must be prepared for recycling and the
manufacturer is obliged to have an environmental policy which must be adhered to in each country
where the company implements its operational policy.
The energy requirements include a demand that the computer and/or display, after a certain
period of inactivity, shall reduce its power consumption to a lower level in one or more stages. The
length of time to reactivate the computer shall be reasonable for the user.
Below you will find a brief summary of the environmental requirements met by this product. The
complete environmental criteria document may be ordered from:
SE-114 94 Stockholm, Sweden
Fax: +46 8 782 92 07
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.
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