Materials used in handheld consumer electronic devices (CEDs), such as cell phones or personal digital assistants, create environmental risks both during procurement and disposal. The increasing global demand for CEDs and recent legislative pressure motivate our review of alternative materials that could make CEDs more environmentally friendly. Hazardous materials considered include brominated flame retardants, lead-based solders, hexavalent chromium, and copper. We survey recent research in the development of environmentally benign replacement materials, provide a brief assessment of the potential environmental, industrial, and economic consequences of their substitution, and assess progress in their industrial application. Identifying appropriate environmentally benign replacement materials provides a starting point for developing environmentally friendly CED prototypes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/hilary_nixon/25/