Is the dust on your computer toxic?

According to new research into chemical residue found in the dust collecting on computers and other electronics devices, the PC that you're using to read this story could pose a long-term threat to your health.

In a report published by Clean Production Action and the Computer TakeBack Campaign, two groups studying environmental and health issues related to computers, researchers contend that potentially dangerous elements of brominated fire retardants are turning up in dust samples swiped from computers. The research indicates that the most commonly found example of these substances, widely used fire prevention compounds known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, have been found to cause health problems in lab animals.

Perhaps of greater concern is the report's contention that PBDEs, which have been shown to present reproductive and neurological risks to animals used in lab tests, remain persistent in the environment and contaminate food supplies, animals and humans. The researchers claim that the PBDE threat is greatest in North America, where women were found to have the highest levels of the chemicals present in their breast milk, and that PBDE levels are doubling in the U.S. population every two to five years.

News source: C|Net News.com

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