Household appliances, mobile phones, computers, tablets, video games and other electronic devices may contain hazardous substances harmful to both human health and the environment. Some substances are heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead. Electronic devices may also contain flame retardants. Flame retardants are intended to provide the product with fire protection during its whole life. They are therefore not easily biodegradable and remain in the natural environment for a long time.
Electronic home equipment should have CE marking. This means that the manufacturer guarantees that the product fulfils the safety requirements set by the EU. These requirements state that substances which can be harmful to human health or the environment are either banned or have restricted use.
New devices may release flame retardants, especially when heated. Even though the risks are relatively small, it is best to avoid placing new electronic devices in children’s rooms. Do not allow small children to chew on or unscrew electronic devices.
Hand in old electrical appliances and electronic waste to your local environmental waste or recycling station. Even if the leakage of hazardous substances from just one article may seem small, the large volumes overall mean that the leakage taking place in the natural environment is increasing. Especially worrying are the heavy metals and chemical substances that remain in the natural environment for a long time. This means that substances hazardous to our health and the environment may reach us through our food and water.