What is mercury?
Mercury is a naturally occurring element present in the environment. It is a metal which is liquid at room temperature and combines easily with other metals and expands and contracts with temperature changes. Because of these properties, mercury has been used in many household, medical and industrial products.
Concerns with mercury use
Multiple web sites provide information about the use, release of and exposure to mercury as well as efforts to reduce releases and exposures. Some of these informative web sites are listed here:
Use of mercury in IBM products
IBM sets environmental standards for product design through engineering specifications. These specifications are communicated to the supply chain vendors for parts. They cover substances prohibited from use, documentation of product content and other requirements. Mercury is listed as prohibited from use in IBM parts and products except for certain necessary applications where substitutes are not available. Visit information for suppliers for these specifications.
Mercury is currently necessary in applications such as lamps, specifically those needed in flat panel monitors, laptop computers, scanner options for printers, and digital projectors. In addition, cryptographic coprocessor cards, which are used for data security purposes, require a mercury catalyst for production. These products are labeled to notify customers of the presence of the mercury compounds and to help ensure proper disposal.
Products which contain mercury should be handled at the end of their useful life in a manner to help prevent the release of mercury into the environment. IBM is committed to the recycling and appropriate end-of-life management of its products, and offers a return program for cryptographic coprocessor cards. For more details about how to return the cards to IBM, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part numbers included in this return program are: