Hazardous substances used in IT products are a risk to human health and the natural environment. Legislation is lagging and focuses on banning substances but the substitutions can be just as hazardous, or even worse. TCO Certified drives transparency and knowledge-sharing, developing pathways to safer alternatives.

No one knows how many chemicals are in use today. What we do know is that very few of these substances have been studied for their impact on humans and the environment. Two examples of potentially hazardous substances are plasticizers and flame retardants, often used in components, cables and other plastic parts. These substances risk leaking out in the natural environment, both in connection with manufacturing, and when products and their packaging are incinerated, placed in landfill or recycled in an improper way.