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What does the TCO seal on my monitor actually mean?

37.5 million computers can be found in German workplaces. Over 90% of households in Germany also have at least one PC or laptop in their private lives. And the trend continues to rise. Germans are spending more and more time in front of one - or more - monitors.  

That's why there are special requirements for monitors, screens and displays. Basically, there are legal guidelines that define limits for emissions that may be emitted by monitors, ergonomic requirements, and much more. Many monitors also have a TCO seal. But what does that actually mean?  

What does the TCO label mean? 

The TCO regulations originally come from Sweden. The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Tjänstermännens Central Organization, TCO) regularly establishes guidelines for the ergonomics, energy consumption, emissions and ecology of monitors. Originally, these guidelines were drawn up for CRT monitors - but even today, TCO provides a strict guideline for all types of monitors - from desktop PCs with LED monitors to laptops, smartphones and tablets.  

The first version of the TCO regulations dates back to 1992 and expanded the MPR II standard for low-radiation CRT monitors. TCO 92 evaluated electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), energy efficiency, and electrical & fire safety.  

However, the limits have always been tightened and modified according to the current state of the art. According to TCO, significantly stricter limit values must be complied with than those set by both international and European laws.   

The TCO test seal does not represent a legally necessary requirement for technical devices - manufacturers can have their devices certified voluntarily, but the seal is not a must for sales!  

Meanwhile, the TCO 06 Media Displays applies. Here, for example, the color cast of grayscale, the screen illumination, the maximum luminance, the emission values, but also the energy consumption in standby mode are evaluated.  Additional test criteria are ecological, but also social aspects. In short, the TCO seal stands for all-round top quality and today checks much more than just emission values!  

What are the standard values for alternating electric and magnetic fields according to TCO 06? 

The TCO requires proof that monitors in 2 different frequency bands comply with certain guide values for both alternating electric and magnetic fields. These are made up as follows: 
  • Band I, 5Hz to 2kHz: ≤ 10 V/m (alternating electric field), ≤ 200 nT (alternating magnetic field)
  • Band II: 2 kHz to 400 kHz: ≤ 1.0 V/m (alternating electric field), ≤ 25 nT (alternating magnetic field)

Corresponding measurements are taken at 30 and 50 cm from the display for displays measuring less than 26 inches diagonally, and only at 50 cm for large displays.  

Schedule a free consultation to improve your workplace now!

How can I check whether my monitor really complies with the TCO 06 guidelines?  

Electric and magnetic alternating fields can be detected with appropriate measuring instruments. With the measuring instruments of the NFA series, the TCO guide values can be checked to the nanoTesla! To simplify the measurement we have developed a special probe, the TCO3. With this probe, workplace measurements can be carried out easily and in compliance with TCO.  


We have made it our business to support people in protection and prevention of electric and magnetic alternating fields as well as high-frequency electromagnetic radiation! With our precise measuring instruments, alternating electric and magnetic fields can be detected accurately and the prevailing exposure can be measured reproducibly. Our innovative TCO3 probe enables measurements at the workplace according to the TCO standard. For accurate values and thus more safety and well-being!  

Discover our precise low frequency analyzers!

Buy LF-Analyzer now!

Editorial office (DG)

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Do you need help?
We will be glad to help you.

We will be happy to assist you in selecting the appropriate measuring device and also advise you on possible protection solutions.
Just contact us!

Mo-Thu 08:00 am – 5:00 pm / Fr 08:00 am – 1:00 pm

  Phone: 0049 9101 / 90 93 - 0

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