Toward a safer IT industry with more accepted substances

Hazardous substances used by the IT industry are a risk to both humans and the environment. Dioxins, halogens and other toxic substances end up in the natural environment because of improper use in manufacturing and when products are not recycled responsibly in a controlled environment. Since a very low percentage of substances have been studied and hazard-assessed, only banning a few substances that have been proven to be harmful is not enough. Substances should instead always be considered hazardous until proven safer before they are used.

TCO Certified is the leading sustainability certification for IT products. With the ground-breaking TCO Certified Accepted Substance List, TCO Certified creates more transparency and promotes a shift to safer substances. The list only includes substances which are proven to be safer. As the list is public and available to everyone, it helps drive chemical safety in the IT industry and society as a whole.

“While a few hazardous substances have been phased out through legislation, too little is known about the substances used to replace them. Regulatory development lags behind. TCO Certified Accepted Substance List leads to many sustainability benefits such as increased transparency, closed data gaps, and a faster shift to safer alternatives”, says Stephen Fuller, expert on hazardous substances at TCO Development, the organization behind TCO Certified.

Recently, six new substances (all process chemicals) were added to the list:

n-Butanol (71-36-3)
Butanone (78-93-3)
Ammonium hydroxide (1336-21-6)
CYBERSOLV (C8882 and C8622)
Vital (GW9066)

Criteria limiting the use of hazardous substances have been part of TCO Certified since 1995. Only plasticizers and flame retardants included on TCO Certified Accepted Substance List can be used in certified products. TCO Certified Accepted Substance List continues to expand to include additional substances that are identified as safer alternatives for both humans and the environment. In 2021 the system was expanded from substances used in products to also cover cleaner and degreaser substances used in the manufacturing processes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *