FAQs about Dell and the Environment
February 9, 2004
Q Where can I find information on the environmental attributes of Dell's products?
Q What is Dell doing to design more environmentally-friendly products?
Q What are the environmental advantages of a flat-panel LCD?
Q What is Dell doing to design a computer that is lead-free?
Q Are Dell's products certified according to any eco-label standards?
Q Does Dell use brominated flame retardants such as PBB and PBDE in their products?
Q Do Dell systems emit any chemicals?
Q What is an MSDS?
Q Do any of Dell's products have MSDSs?
Where can I find information on the environmental attributes of Dell's products?
A We post Environmental Data Sheets for many of our desktop, laptop and server/storage products
What is Dell doing to design more environmentally-friendly products?
A Dell designs and engineers its products to prevent pollution and conserve natural resources throughout the system's life cycle. Dell's Design for Environment (DfE) program incorporates, at the product development stage, environmental attributes such as reduction of environmentally-sensitive materials, increased energy efficiency, extension of product life span and Design for Disassembly. More information on Dell's DfE program may be found here.
What are the environmental advantages of a flat-panel LCD?
- A Flat panel displays are easier to recycle than CRTs - from the volume of the materials to dispose of to the kinds of materials to dispose of. CRTs contain about 2 pounds of lead while flat panels contain only several grams of lead.
- There are fewer packaging materials used to ship a flat panel.
- Flat panels have much lower electromagnetic wave emissions than CRTs.
- Energy savings - Flat panels use about 30 percent less power than CRTs and have a lower cooling cost.
- Workspace - Flat panels take up about 70 percent less desktop space than do CRTs.
- Freight cost - Because of their smaller size, it costs less to ship a flat panel.
What is Dell doing to design a computer that is lead-free?
A Delivering lead-free alternatives is still a significant challenge for the entire electronics industry and involves a very complex set of relationship capabilities that have yet to be standardized. Therefore, any description of Dell's work in providing these solutions is preliminary and still-evolving by definition. Dell is committed to finding appropriate and cost-effective ways to reduce lead in its products. To date Dell has taken steps to ban lead from use in plastics, paints and product packaging. The metal is used on a limited basis for solder connections of printed circuit boards and components, and in leaded glass used in Cathode Ray Tube monitors to protect against radiation.
Dell has a long tradition of providing the best value to our customers. Dell is working toward removing lead (as well as other environmentally sensitive materials) to meet the needs of our customers which is consistent with the European Union's Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, which will be implemented in mid-2006. Dell has a lead-free team working in conjunction with our suppliers to find economically viable alternative substances that can be used and will phase out the use of lead in our computers.
Are Dell's products certified according to any eco-label standards?
A Yes, Dell certifies our OptiPlex product line according to industry standards such as TCO 99, Blue Angel and Energy Star. In addition, Dell provides TCO certified monitors. Information regarding eco-label certification can be found on Dell's Environmental Datasheets.
Does Dell use brominated flame retardants such as PBB and PBDE in their products?
A No, Dell has restricted its suppliers' use of PBB or PBDE due to concerns over the potential adverse environmental and health impacts of these compounds. Furthermore, brominated flame retardants are restricted in Dell chassis parts over 25 grams. Dell chassis enclosures are primarily made of PC+ABS or ABS plastic resins. Printed circuit boards typically contain brominated flame-retardants such as Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBA). Dell is working with suppliers and organizations such as HDPUG to evaluate "halogen-free" flame retardants considering all aspects such as technical, environmental, health and fire safety.
Do Dell systems emit any chemicals?
A General data that Dell has obtained from studies of air emissions show that computer systems emit very small amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone and particulate matter during operation. These emissions originate from residual solvents, epoxies and plastic materials that make-up the system. We also broadly require that our suppliers either eliminate or minimize potentially hazardous materials from components supplied to Dell.
During operation, components may release emissions due to system heating, particularly in the first few weeks of operation. Industry data shows that while unpleasant odors may be occasionally produced, the emissions themselves ordinarily do not pose health risks. Dell performs a run-in test after assembly of a new system, in which functionality is verified, and this often serves to dissipate any such potential emissions. It is helpful, however, to maintain a ventilated environment where computer systems are installed.
What is an MSDS?
A A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that provides information to the user on hazardous ingredients a product may contain, potential hazards, and the recommended methods to ensure safe use, as generally required of employers by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Do any of Dell's products have MSDSs?
A Yes. Dell provides Material Safety Data Sheets for its ink and toner products. To review the MSDSs for Dell's printer products click here.