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Environmental Factors

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All computing equipment should be disposed of properly after reaching the end of its life cycle. Computers and computer components can release a variety of harmful toxins into the environment when incinerated or dumped in landfills. According to a February 2002 report by the Basel Action Network and Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, toxic materials found in computers and monitors include lead, lead oxide, cadmium, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride (Ref.). According to the study, plastics account for 13.8 pounds of the average computer, and can release toxins when burned.