Preserving Clean Air and Water through Reducing Use of Toxics and Heavy Metals

Xerox’s long-term commitment is to eliminate the use of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic materials throughout the supply chain. We apply strict internal standards and, over time, have re-engineered or substituted processes to dramatically reduce the use of toxics and heavy metals. Some examples:

  • More than 10 years ago, Xerox switched to a solvent-free process for cleaning machine parts.
  • Since 2005, we have nearly eliminated the use of lead and mercury from our new products.
  • Since 1991, our manufacturing operations have reduced by 94% emissions of particulate and toxics into the air.

Controlling the Chemical Content of Xerox Products throughout the Supply Chain

Xerox requirements for minimizing toxic materials govern our product design and materials selection. Xerox toxicologists conduct a comprehensive assessment of new materials in our products to ensure conformance with these criteria. They include compliance with applicable global registration, hazard communication and waste handling and disposal. The requirements prohibit the use of materials that:

  • Are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or cause adverse developmental or reproductive effects.
  • Pose a toxicity hazard to humans or aquatic species.
  • Can cause a permanent adverse impact to the skin, eyes or respiratory system.
  • Have the potential to generate hazardous waste.

In 1999, Xerox banned the use of certain flame retardants in our products, and we have made good progress in eliminating the use of mercury. Mercury-containing lamps that scan images and back-light user displays will be phased out as alternatives become available.

In 2004, Xerox issued updated requirements for Xerox suppliers to better control the use of chemicals in our products. All new product designs refer to these requirements, and suppliers are expected to verify their compliance with them. To learn more about them, visit

Concern about the use of hazardous materials in electronics has prompted many countries around the world to consider restricting the use of certain substances. Most notably, the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive requires new electronic products to be free of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and certain brominated flame retardants, unless feasible alternatives are unavailable. Xerox products subject to RoHS meet these requirements. Starting in 2007 and beyond, Xerox’s newly launched products are designed to meet these requirements in all markets. However, where regulations allow, some products will contain non-RoHS-compliant parts in order to avoid premature disposal of existing parts that continue to have usable life.

In 2007, the first phase of the European Union’s new regulatory plan for chemical control went into effect. The regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) aims to establish a framework for evaluating the impact chemicals have on the environment and human health, and for assessing whether the most potentially hazardous of those chemicals should be subject to an authorization or ban. Xerox expects to be fully compliant with all aspects of the REACH regulation as its provisions become effective and applicable

Low Emissions

Consistent with the world’s most stringent ecolabels, Xerox designs its products to control emissions of chemicals and noise. As a result, current products have achieved chemical emission levels that are well below global regulatory requirements – often at or near the detection limit of our measurement equipment – and are considered to have a negligible impact on customers’ work environments.

Since 1991, ozone and dust emissions from office and production copying and printing systems have decreased by more than 50%. Future Xerox products are being developed to maintain these low levels.