Hazardous chemicals and their implications
• 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