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'Toxic Dust' on Computers Tied to Disease

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posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 10:34 AM
By RACHEL KONRAD, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO - "Toxic dust" found on computer processors and monitors contains chemicals linked to reproductive and neurological disorders, according to a new study by several environmental groups.

The survey, released Thursday by Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Computer TakeBack Campaign and Clean Production Action, is among the first to identify brominated flame retardants on the surfaces of common devices in homes and offices.

Electronics companies began using polybrominated diphenyl (PBDEs) and other flame retardants in the 1970s, arguing that the toxins prevent fires and cannot escape from plastic casings.

Complete article

Kinda scary for people who, like me, works all day long around computers.
(even more scary when we think that we spend parts of our evening around them too...)

posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 10:35 AM
or for ghetto people like myself who have their cases off

... long story, and partially lazy.

posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 10:37 AM

Originally posted by Lysergic
or for ghetto people like myself who have their cases off

... long story, and partially lazy.

Lol... You know, it's been like 2 months since I told my self I should dust-off my computer, and I left the side panel open so it wouldn't heat too much.

What a crappy computer technician I am when I'm at home lol...

Edit: The article is seriously potentially scary, I recommend everyone who uses computer to read it.

[Edited on 4-6-2004 by m0rbid]

posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 01:45 PM
wow that article is pretty scary m0rbid
I mean potentially many people are at risk, how can you protect yourself against these toxins... just dust your pc more often lol ?

posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 03:34 PM
What's that hazard's risk in relation to being bombarded in the corneas by the electron gun from a tube type monitor? I haven't seen a decline in longevity from any of the medicos' reports lately , so we must be doing okay so far.

Statistically we are more likely to die or be seriously injured driving to the store for a cold one.

So who is going to stop driving and using the puter?

posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 05:25 PM
It sounds like destroying all of those old motherboards with a hammer when I was younger might have been a bad idea...

For a while I had to have my left case panel off to prevent my processor (which was already underclocked 500mhz) from overheating. I'll just hope that the massive amount of dust that blanketed my board at that time prevented any of these toxic chemicals from becoming airborne.

As for the hazard from CRT monitors, aren't there regulations in place that force manufacturers to include additional lead shielding when the monitor size is sufficient to cause a radiation hazard? I don't really know too much about monitors myself, I've always preferred to replace them when one of mine goes bad so I've never actually taken a look inside one. I leave them alone for the same reason I've never tried to service a blown PSU, the capacitors inside store potentially lethal voltage and I have really bad luck.

posted on Jun, 5 2004 @ 04:31 PM
I own an iBook and interestingly, I saw a post on the Apple Discussion forums that said the iBook, when tested in switzerland against a myriad of others machines, elicited a significantly Lower amount of radiation. In fact, Switzerland has some of the highest standards for computers and radiation. The iBook not only met the standards, but far exceeded it.

The iBook also has a thick poly-carbonate plastic shell and a rubber underlay beneath the keyboard, in conjunction with an LCD screen. Perhaps the iBook is one of the safer computers out there.

[Edited on 5-6-2004 by Plasmamembrane]

posted on Jun, 5 2004 @ 06:40 PM
As far as I know, having an LCD screen prevents a laptop from emitting the kind of high penetration radiation commonly associated with CRT monitors. I can't imagine any reason that laptops in general would emit anything other than the low level thermal radiation common to all electronic devices. For that reason, I would think that my Gateway Solo 1400 would be just as safe as your iBook....and mine even has a cool looking cow colored symbol that I'm sure yours doesn't have.


posted on Jun, 5 2004 @ 08:53 PM
Only CRT tubes emit x-rays, LCD screens don't. Google x-ray tubes.

posted on Jun, 5 2004 @ 09:49 PM
I'm quite aware of the fact that only CRTs emit high penetration radiation (X-Rays), that was actually the point of my last post.

posted on Jun, 5 2004 @ 10:05 PM
just read the article, i suppose i should start dusting my computer from now on. it's a good read nonetheless.

posted on Jun, 5 2004 @ 11:35 PM
Actually, my main conern is the toxic dust emitted from computers. In fact, I first became aware of the issue when a collegue of mine suffered health problems with his Laptops. His laptops are now enclosed in special clear plastic containers. What could a laptop elicit? Well, for starters, the motherboard heats up, causing "toxic dust" to be emitted. There is a resin coating motherboards that breaks down over time due to heat and other things. My collegue determined this to be the problem. Having a CRT screen, accroding to this post, would just make a worse scenerio.

posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 01:29 AM
I can't understand why this would come as a surprsie to the mess of you all. It's common knowledge that there is radiation emitted from computer screens (as well as television screens) - hell, the whole reason you see an image displayed is because there is a lowgrade vacuum tube which has electrons fired at from behind to the back of the glass at speeds nearing that of light (3 x 10 ^ 8 m/s, if I recall correctly). Fast enough for special relativity to apply, at least.

Computers have always contained something 'veritably' toxic -- whether it be the lead contained in it, or this "dust." From what I know, they also contain mercury - you'd better watch out for that mercury vapour, as that's what makes you go daft.

I wouldn't be too concerned about it. I'm sure the lot of you have had diet soda at some point, too...


Can anyone succinctly explain why LCDs emit 'less' radiation than CRTs? (Cathode Ray Tubes? educated guess)

posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 03:43 AM
LCDs use an entirely different manner of producing an image than CRTs. There is no vacuum tube or electron gun fired at a special grid to create groups of colors called picture elements (pixels). Instead, a coating of nematic liquid crystals are applied to layers of polarized glass with special polymer filters on them. These nematic liquid crystals change shape when an electric charge is applied to them, and do so in such a manner that they then block the light passing through the polarized glass. Since LCDs do not use high penetration radiation (which is basically what the electron beam amounts to), there isn't really any dangerous electromagnetic radiation emitted from them.

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