IBM System z - Environment

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.

Return program

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

Part numbers included in this return program are:

04K8979 04K9127 04K9128 04K9353
09J8193 10J0077 10J0357 10J0410
10J0688 11P0869 11P1004 11P1925
11P4398 12R6186 12R6539 12R6540
12R6759 12R6853 12R7868 12R7869
16R0126 16R0962 40H9951 40H9952
40H9954 60G7520 60G7549 69H6617

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Browse z Systems


Infrastructure matters. Businesses turn to the IBM mainframe for unmatched security, operational efficiency, speed, seamless scale, and lower cost per transaction. The IBM z System, the world’s premier data and transaction engine, is enabled for mobile, integrates transactions and analytics, and delivers efficient and trusted clouds.

Operating Systems

IBM z Systems supports multiple operation systems:


IBM z Systems combine leading-edge innovation and unparalleled capabilities to power cloud, business analytics, mobile applications, and the most important workloads.