Survey and risk assessment of chemicals from gaming equipment

Survey and risk assessment of chemicals from gaming equipment no. 191, April 2023. Gaming have become a substantial part of the everyday life of many young people. Computer games are played in private homes, institutions and on a competitive level. Gaming equipment can emit volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds into the air that can be harmful to human health.

In a literature survey, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency identified 153 volatile substances (VVOCs and VOCs) and 90 semi-volatile substances (SVOCs) related to gaming equipment. In this study, 14 additional SVOCs was identified from 7 field studies. Based on the literature survey and field analyses, an initial hazard screening was prepared to prioritize toxicologically problematic substances which were analyzed in subsequent tests of gaming equipment in climate chambers.

When analyzing 33 products in a climate chamber, 67 substances were identified, including formaldehyde, dimethylformamide, siloxanes, hydrocarbons, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organophosphorus flame-retardants (OPFR) and phthalates. 34 of these substances have not previously been identified to emit from gaming equipment. 11 of the 67 substances were prioritized for hazard assessment and 10 of these substances were selected for risk assessment. Based on a realistic worst-case scenario, two of the 35 products posed a risk to the consumer. The risk is associated with gaming chairs that have high emissions of formaldehyde that may cause eye- and respiratory irritation.

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