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Over the past several years, increased attention has been placed upon the potential environmental impacts of IT products. Largely due to the tremendous growth of the number of electronic devices that are used in our everyday lives, environmental concerns have been raised regarding materials contained in electronic devices (e.g. lead solder). Both voluntary and regulatory measures have been taken to address some of these concerns, including the European Union Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. The IT industry has been very proactive in examining the environmental impacts of their products and taking steps to minimize these impacts through Design for Environment (DfE) initiatives. Both individually and collectively (through industry associations such as the High Density Packaging User Group (HDPUG)), numerous voluntary efforts are underway to minimize the environmental footprint of electronics. In some cases, however, environmentally friendly design is driven by perception rather than data. This paper presents the results of an industry-wide survey of the material composition of key electronic components, including integrated circuits, add-in cards, boards, cables, connectors, drives, power supplies, and visual displays. Material composition data was collected via a combination of analytical testing, supplier surveys and literature reviews. The data presented here should serve as a foundation for making data-driven DfE decisions regarding the material composition of electronic products.
Date of Conference: 19-22 May 2003