Toxins in Computers
For more detailed information click on the toxin.
- Barium (CRT): Intestinal illness, muscular weakness
- (electronics): Can damge bones, cause cancer
- Springs, relays, clips and connections on boards where flexibility in copper is needed
- copper-beryllium alloy (typically 98% copper, 2% beryllium)
Beryllium = known human carcinogen
Beryllium dust (from shredding) & fumes (from high temp metal refining processes) can cause berylliosis with permanent lung scarring, and can be fatal
- (batteries and circuit boards): Kidney, liver, bone, and blood damage
- Some contacts, switches
- Rechargeable nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries, e.g. in laptops
- Used as a stabilizer in some PVC formulations, e.g. wire insulation
- On some circuit boards in plated contacts and switches
- Cadmium sulphide used in older CRTs’ phosphors coating
- Highly toxic to plants, animals and humans, causing kidney and bone damage at low levels, heart disease, & hypertension.
- Known human carcinogen.
- Hexavalent chromium (steel): liver, kidney, nerve tissues
- Lead (CRT, circuit boards): Vascular and kidney disease, brain disorders in young children
- Mercury (LCD, flat panel displays, batteries): kidney damage
- Phosphorus (CRT): skin, eye, and stomach irritation
- Brominated flame retardants (plastics, cables, CRTs): endocrine disruptor, neurotoxin
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
The following are links to info about e-waste: