Electrical devices

Electronics can give off small amounts of chemical substances. To reduce the total amount of chemical substances that you are exposed to in you in everyday life, you can air out your home, make sure you have good ventilation and clean away dust frequently. It can also be a good idea to really consider how many electrical devices you really need.

Mobile phones, televisions, computers and other electrical appliances can emit small amounts of chemical substances into the surrounding air. These are substances that are used in the article to give the article a certain property or function. For example, there is flame retardant in a TV to prevent the TV from burning.

When using the TV, small amounts of flame retardant and other substances may end up in the surrounding air and dust. The amount of substances released into the air is small, and the risk of your health being affected by these substances is small. Still, to reduce the total amount of chemical substances that you get in your body in your everyday life, it is a good idea to clean and dust frequently, air out rooms and make sure you have good ventilation in your home. It can also be a good idea to consider how many electrical devices you actually need, since the total amount of substances you are exposed to will increase if you have a lot of electronics in your home.

Electronics can contain a variety of substances depending on the item, what materials it consists of and its function. Many of the substances classified as hazardous are found in electronics and become a problem only when the devices become waste. Then the substances can leak into nature and create problems for the environment. In the long run, we can also get these substances in our bodies through food and water. Therefore, it is important to bring your old electrical items to the recycling station when you are ready to get rid of them and not throw them away with your regular household waste.

Chemical-smart advice on electrical appliances and electronics

  • Keep your home well ventilated and try to clean away dust regularly.
  • Do not allow children to put electrical items, such as cell phones, in their mouths.
  • Since children are particularly sensitive to substances that are harmful to health, it is a good idea to avoid having too many electrical appliances, e.g. a TV or computer, in a child’s room.
  • Do not allow children to disassemble electrical appliances, as hazardous substances can be inside the electronics, for example, on circuit boards and similar.
  • Check to ensure any electrical product you are considering buying is CE marked. The fact that it is CE marked means, among other things, that the manufacturer guarantees that the the article meets the safety requirements set by the EU. The requirements mean that certain substances that can harm health or the environment are prohibited or restricted.
  • Be extra careful when you buy electronics via the internet; if the company you are buying the article from is outside the EU, other chemical regulations apply and there is a risk that you will receive appliances that contain substances that are banned within the EU/EEA.
  • Think about whether you need all of your electrical devices. Is there anything you do not use?
  • Return old electrical appliances and electronic waste to the municipality’s environmental station or recycling centre.
  • You have the right to request information in the store and receive answers regarding whether the item you intend to purchase contains any especially hazardous substances that are on the so-called the Candidate List.

Read more about your right to information.

Read more about safe shopping on the web

More about CE marking on the Swedish Consumer Agency’s website External link.

Last published 26 February 2021