TCO Certified

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TCO Certified
Founded1992; 30 years ago (1992)
FounderSwedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO)
Area served
ParentSwedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO)
Footnotes / references

The TCO Certified certification was initially created by the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO) to guarantee that computer products purchased by employers maintain ecological standards and were sufficiently ergonomic to prevent long term health issues for users. It became known during the 1990s as a certification for computer displays. Dating back to 1992, TCO is one of the oldest certifications for end user electronics.[1]


In the early 1980s, the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO), a worker's union, foresaw that computers would become an important work utility and sought to establish ergonomic and radiation standards for computer displays to protect their members from health issues by daily use. Back then, the increasing use of computers and monitors in white collar work environments caused widespread complaints from employees experiencing visual fatigue and visual stress during after-work hours (also called "VDU sickness"). In fact, early generations of computer displays were frequently related to eye strains and headache due to flickering, jitter and radiation.[2][3][4] In 1986, TCO published a basic list of requirements and test protocols to verify if a display was fit for continuous daily use as a help for employers to choose the right hardware for work places.[5]

The test became an early success and was translated into multiple languages and used also by unions in other countries to push for a more ergonomic work environment.[6] The success of the display checklist resulted in the foundation of TCO Certified, a spin-off by the TCO Union headed by Per Erik Boivie and Peter Magnusson, among others, with the goal of creating an international certification and standards to be implemented directly by manufacturers. Starting with TCO'92 in 1992, the TCO certification minimum standards for emissions, jittering and electronic safety for computer monitors. Later on, the standards into other product categories such as peripherals and the computer itself.[7][1]

TCO Certified requirements[edit]

TCO publishes new guidelines every 3 to 4 years. The standards expanded from covering only computer monitors in 1992 to a wide array of devices today.[8]

Product categories[edit]

TCO Certified is available for the following products: displays, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, desktops, all-in-one PCs, projectors, headsets, and data center products: network equipment, data storage products and servers.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Hilgenkamp, Kathryn (2005). Environmental Health: Ecological Perspectives. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 331. ISBN 0763771082. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  2. ^ Patel, S; Henderson, R; Bradley, L; Galloway, B; Hunter, L (November 1991). "Effect of visual display unit use on blink rate and tear stability". Optometry and Vision Science. 68 (11): 888–92. doi:10.1097/00006324-199111000-00010. PMID 1766652. S2CID 43391738.
  3. ^ Gur, S; Ron, S (1992). "Does work with visual display units impair visual activities after work?". Documenta Ophthalmologica. Advances in Ophthalmology. 79 (3): 253–9. doi:10.1007/BF00158255. PMID 1600842. S2CID 33719708.
  4. ^ Dain, SJ; McCarthy, AK; Chan-Ling, T (March 1988). "Symptoms in VDU operators". American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics. 65 (3): 162–7. doi:10.1097/00006324-198803000-00004. PMID 3364524. S2CID 42955396.
  5. ^ peter. "The Story of TCO Certified". TCO Certified. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  6. ^ Sandberg, Ake (1992). Technological change and co-determination in Sweden (1st ed.). Temple University Press. pp. 260–266. ISBN 978-0877229186. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  7. ^ Hollander, Ernst (2001), Enviro-innovative processes initialised by unions and other social actors : with a focus on TCO eco-labels, Edition Sigma, pp. 87–103, retrieved 2020-06-12
  8. ^ Mechanical life cycle handbook : good environmental design and manufacturing. Hundal, Mahendra S., 1934-. New York: Marcel Dekker. 2002. ISBN 0-585-41898-5. OCLC 47696325.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ "TCO Certified Product Categories".

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]