TCO'99 Eco-document (for the black
You have just purchased a TCO'99 approved and labelled product! Your
choice has provided you with a product developed for professional use.
Your purchase has also contributed to reducing the burden on the
environment and also to the further development of environmentally
adapted electronics products.
x Why do we have environmentally labelled com-
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.
x What does labelling involve?
This product meets the requirements for the TCO'99 scheme which
provides for international and environmental 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)
and Statens Energimyndighet (The Swedish National Energy
Approval requirements cover a wide range of issues: environment,
ergonomics, usability, emission of electric and magnetic fields, energy
consumption and electrical and fire safety.
The environmental 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.
Labelled products must meet strict environmental demands, for example,
in respect of the reduction of electric and magnetic fields, physical and
visual ergonomics and good usability.
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
Email (Internet): firstname.lastname@example.org
Current information regarding TCO'99 approved and labelled
products may also be obtained via the Internet, using the address:
x Environmental requirements
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
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.
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.
* Bio-accumulative is defined as substances which accumulate within
** Lead, Cadmium and Mercury are heavy metals which are Bio-