Computers damage your brain

A research from American environmental groups shows that toxic dust found on computer contains chemicals linked to reproductive and neurological disorders.

Samples of dust from dozens of computers were collected and analyzed to look for three types of brominated flame retardants suspected to be harmful.

Some computer makers continue using a flame retardant related to PBDEs on circuit boards, and lead, mercury and other toxins in the central processing units and monitors. PBDEs, which have caused neurological damage in laboratory rats, are related to polychlorinated biphenyls, toxins believed to damage brains of human fetuses.

The electronics industry has been reducing or eliminating some brominated flame retardants since the late 1990s, when European countries began prohibiting the sale of products that contain these components. Two types of these toxins will be removed from the American market by the end of the year. Environmental groups are demanding legislation that would ban the third one too.

Experts say consumers shouldn’t throw out their computers — but ask for stronger protection against such chemicals.


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