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Dell Introduces Desktops without Lead

Dell announces two new desktops that reduce lead used in production.

According to a New York Times article, Dell has released two new desktop systems in effort to decrease the hazardous materials in its products. The company's latest OptiPlex systems -- the GX520 and the GX620 -- come with lead-free power supplies, motherboards, and chassis.

Executives said this is a first step in complying with the European Union's 2006 deadline to restrict the use of substances, such as lead, and eliminate the use of other metals like cadmium. Dell already complies with some international environmental standards including GreenPC and Energy Star.

Other steps the company is taking to make more environmentally conscious products include: avoiding brominated flame retardants and trying to eliminate the use of halogenated flame retardants in desktop, notebook, and server chassis plastic parts. Also, the shift from cathode ray tube, or CRT, monitors in favor of liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors reduces the amount of lead produced (though increases amounts of mercury).

The article in the NYT cites the announcement made June 2 in Monaco. The Dell Web site does not yet reflect the advance, and refers to the challenge of lead in computer manufacturing in its environment FAQ:

"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....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 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."

For more on Dell's environmental positions, practices, and products, see

Also see here for the full NYT article (free registration required).

Created by cjohnson
Last modified August 17, 2005 03:18 PM

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