Congratulations! 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.
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 the manufacturing. Since it has not been possible for
the majority of electronics equipment to be recycled in a
satisfactory way, 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 conventional electricity generation have a negative
effect on the environment (acidic and climate-influencing
emissions, radioactive waste, etc.), it is vital to conserve energy.
Electronics equipment in offices consume an enormous amount of
energy since they are often left running continuously.
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 Administration).
The requirements cover a wide range of issues: environment,
ergonomics, usability, emission of electrical and magnetic fields,
energy consumption and electrical and fire safety.
The environmental demands concern 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 plan 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.
Flame retardants are present in printed circuit boards, cables,
wires, casings and housings. In turn, they delay the spread of fire.
Up to thirty percent of the plastic in a computer casing can consist
of flame retardant substances. Most flame retardants contain
bromine or chloride and these are related to another group of
environmental toxins, PCBs, which are suspected to give rise to
severe health effects, including reproductive damage in fisheating
birds and mammals, due to the bioaccumulative* processes. Flame
retardants have been found in human blood and researchers fear
that disturbances in foetus development may occur.
TCO'99 demand requires that plastic components weighing more
than 25 grams must not contain flame retardants with organically
bound chlorine and bromine. Flame retardants are allowed in the
printed circuit boards since no substitutes are available.
Lead can be found in picture tubes, display screens, solders and
capacitors. Lead damages the nervous system and in higher
doses, causes lead poisoning.
TCO'99 requirement permits the inclusion of lead since no
replacement has yet been developed.
Cadmium is present in rechargeable batteries and in the
colourgenerating layers of certain computer displays. Cadmium
damages the nervous system and is toxic in high doses.
TCO'99 requirement states that batteries, the colourgenerating
layers of display screens and the electrical or electronics
components must not contain any cadmium.
Mercury is sometimes found in batteries, relays and switches,
Mercury damages the nervous system and is toxic in high
TCO'99 requirement states that batteries may not contain any
Mercury. It also demands that no mercury is present in any of
the electrical or electronics components associated with the
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 consequent increased risks of skin cancer
The relevant TCO'99 requirement; Neither CFCs nor HCFCs
may be used during the manufacturing and assembly of the
product or its packaging.
*Bio-accumulative is defined as substances which accumulate
within living organisms.
**Lead, Cadmium and Mercury are heavy metals which are
To obtain complete information on the environmental criteria
document, order from:
TCO Development Unit
SE-114 94 Stockholm
FAX Number: +46 8 782 92 07
E-mail (Internet): firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also obtain current information on TCO'99 approved
and labelled products by visiting their website at: