Friday, June 4

Toxis Dust On Computer and its Effect on Health

Sci Tech News Reports :
Toxic dust found on computer processors and monitors contains chemicals linked to reproductive and neurological disorders, according to a new study by several environmental groups.

The survey, released by Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Computer TakeBack Campaign and Clean Production Action, is among the first to identify brominated flame retardants on the surfaces of common devices in homes and offices.

Electronics companies began using polybrominated diphenyl (PBDEs) and other flame retardants in the 1970s, arguing that the toxins prevent fires and cannot escape from plastic casings.

The study found that tiny particles of the toxic chemicals are leaching out, escaping into the air and attaching to ordinary dust on the computer equipment.

From Computer TakeBack Campaign :
Discarded personal computers and consumer electronics – so-called “e-waste” – compose one of the fastest growing and highly toxic waste streams in the industrialized world. There will soon be an estimated 300 million to 600 million obsolete computers in the U.S., with fewer than 10% recycled. Containing lead, mercury, cadmium, and dioxin-like flame retardants, obsolete computers pose a serious threat to human health and the environment when improperly disposed or recycled. Taxpayers and local governments bear the cost and burden of managing these wastes. The Computer TakeBack Campaign was formed in response to this growing crisis, promoting brand owner and producer responsibility for e-waste.

Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are manmade chemicals found in plastics used in a variety of consumer products to make them difficult to burn. Some people who ate food contaminated with PBBs in the 1970s had skin problems. Almost nothing is known about health effects of PBDEs in people. PBBs have been found in at least 9 of the 1,613 National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). PBDEs have not been identified in any of the 1,613 sites.

Related Links :

* Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

* Computer TakeBack Campaign and Clean Production Action

* polybrominated diphenyl