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HP and Apple’s toxic laptops exposed
of the best-known laptops are contaminated with some of the worst toxic
chemicals. Of the five top brands we tested Hewlett-Packard and Apple
laptops showed the worst contamination levels.
independant Danish laboratory tested for the presence of several toxic
chemicals, including brominated flame retardants (BFRs), polyvinyl
chloride plastic (PVC), and even lead, in brand new laptops from five
of the world’s leading manufacturers (Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Sony). HP
and Apple laptops contained the highest levels of contamination.We have
been pressuring leading electronic companies to ditch toxic chemicals
in favour of safer alternatives. The laptop tests reveal if the top
companies are matching nice green words with real action.
for HP revealed high levels of a number of chemicals in its components,
in particular the highest levels by far of PBDEs (a class of Brominated
Fire Retardants) including something called decaBDE. HP’s website
claims it removed decaBDE from its products years ago.Either HP is
lying or HP needs to ask its suppliers some tough questions. Lead was
also found in the soldering.HP has been downgraded due to these results
on our Guide to Greener Electronics. The guide ranks PC and mobile
companies on their chemical and waste policies and practices. HP was
third but has slipped to sixth position, with 4.7 out of 10, down from
Apple has recently launched its new range
of MacBooks, but what you also get with a new MacBook is the highest
level of another type of toxic flame retardant, tetrabromobisphenol A.
Apple claims it is looking for alternatives but for now it appears to
be using far more of this toxic chemical than its competitors.Dr. Kevin
Brigden, of the Greenpeace Science Unit, was alarmed by the results:
“During the sampling process it was remarkable to note that, whether
Mac or PC, once you by-pass the sleek and cool design of these
computers, hazardous substances are a component common to all.”Previous
Greenpeace research has revealed that the same toxic chemicals found in
these tests are polluting electronic waste (e-waste) scrap yards in
China and India. These yards are often the final polluted resting place
of computers thrown away in other countries.Dr. Brigden visited these
yards to take samples in 2005: “BFRs, especially PDBEs, were widespread
in the recycling yards and surrounding environment in China and India
where electronics components are being scrapped. Lead was also found in
many locations, often at very high levels.”Because none of the large
electronics players have a comprehensive take-back policy for their old
products many old computers end up dumped in Asia and recycled by hand
in appalling conditions.Electronics is a fast moving, innovative
industry that can respond quickly to users’ wishes and new trends. It’s
high time it moved quickly to make greener, longer-lasting products to
help reverse the growing trend in toxic e-waste.
Author2006-09-25 at 11:24:00 am
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