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Author Topic: The Electronic Wasteland  (Read 689 times)


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The Electronic Wasteland
« on: November 11, 2008, 04:18:24 pm »

This is a harrowing piece from the show 60 Minutes, about the sad reality of recycling electronics:

You Are Number Six


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Re: The Electronic Wasteland
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 11:14:44 pm »

If you think that exporting toxic waste to less-developed countries is bad (as I do), what would you think of exporting unhealthy goods?

A few years ago at a previous employer, I went into the stockroom and found a large number of USA-made fluorescent light tubes in a corner; I asked about them and was told that they were bought some time ago due to the good price, but that no matter where they got installed, people would complain and ask for them to be replaced by Brazilian bulbs.

I checked the packaging and found that they were marked "not for sale in the USA - Export only".

I got curious and tried to find out what was it about those lights; the result: they emitted very unhealthy levels of UV radiation, several times more than the Brazilian lights did.

But the manufacturer saw no problem in making them in the USA and selling them abroad.

BTW, I asked our process engineer about the lights, she told me she had worked with a similar product in the past and that those bulbs contained a chemical blend that was at least 3 times as toxic as the regular fluorescents.

But way cheaper to manufacture.


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