Several environmental groups (Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, Computer TakeBack Campaign and Clean Production Action) warn that the majority of computer monitors and processors have a "toxc dust" called polybrominated diphenyl or PBDEs.
Computer companies started using PBDEs in the 1970s because they serve as good flame retardants. Rats exposed to PBDEs in studies received neurological damage and the substances are related to PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls.
While it is established that PCBs are highly toxic, there is debate over how much of a crisis it is that people are being exposed to PBDEs. Results of studies regarding PBDE exposure are years away. Dell and Apple, however, stopped using PBDEs. Source