Haz­ardous chem­i­cals and their im­pli­ca­tions

Electronics Bazaar - - Manufacturing Focus -

• Haz­ardous chem­i­cals such as bromi­nated flame re­tar­dants are pri­mar­ily used in phones and com­put­ers. These chem­i­cals are dan­ger­ous pol­lu­tants that dam­age the health of work­ers exposed to them when the prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured or dis­posed of.

• Some bromi­nated flame re­tar­dants used in cir­cuit boards and plas­tic cas­ings do not break down eas­ily and build up in the en­vi­ron­ment. Long-term ex­po­sure to them can lead to im­paired learn­ing and mem­ory func­tions.

• TBBPA, an­other bromi­nated flame re­tar­dant, is used when man­u­fac­tur­ing mo­bile phones. This chem­i­cal is linked to neu­ro­tox­i­c­ity.

• Cath­ode ray tubes in mon­i­tors con­tain lead. Ex­po­sure to lead can cause in­tel­lec­tual im­pair­ment in chil­dren and can dam­age the ner­vous, blood and re­pro­duc­tive sys­tems in adults.

• Cad­mium, used in recharge­able com­puter bat­ter­ies, con­tacts and switches and in older CRTs, can bio-ac­cu­mu­late in the en­vi­ron­ment and is highly toxic, pri­mar­ily af­fect­ing the kid­neys and bones of hu­mans.

• Mer­cury, used in light­ing de­vices for flat screen dis­plays can dam­age the brain and cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing early de­vel­op­ment.

• Polyvinyl chlo­ride (PVC) is a chlo­ri­nated plas­tic. Chlo­ri­nated diox­ins and fu­rans are re­leased when PVC is pro­duced or dis­posed of by in­cin­er­a­tion (or sim­ply burn­ing). These chem­i­cals are highly per­sis­tent in the en­vi­ron­ment and many are toxic even in very low con­cen­tra­tions. Source: Green­peace

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