List presents safer chemicals for manufacturing IT products

electronics manufacturing


When it comes to chemicals used in the manufacture of IT products, very few have been studied for their impact on humans and the environment. To accelerate the shift to safer alternatives, the TCO Certified Accepted Substance List presents substances proven to be a better choice, a move which the group behind it suggests as ground-breaking. Six more process chemicals have recently been added to the list.

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 a developer of sustainability certification for IT products. With the ground-breaking TCO Certified Accepted Substance List, the group says it is working to ensure more transparency in this field, and to promote a shift to safer substances. As the list is public and available to everyone, it is hoped it will help to 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)

The full list with all safer substances is available here.

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.