Feb 6, 2010

Is your Computer Green?

ipro, the second largest IT company in India, has beaten many of the giants in electronics and unveiled a toxic free computer.

In so doing it becomes only the third manufacturer in the world, behind Apple and HP, to make a toxic free desktop.

Only Acer laptops are similarly toxin free. All other manufacturers, including Dell, Toshiba and Samsung, continue to make PCs which are environmentally damaging.

The pollutants in question are PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and BFRs (brominated flame retardants).

PVC is one of the cheapest forms of plastic, but it isn’t biodegradable, is toxic when burnt and is almost impossible to recycle. In electronics it is used primary as a wiring insulator, meaning there are now mountains of the stuff all over Asia and Africa.

BFRs are polymers which are embedded into a number of plastics, including printed circuit boards, to slow the spread of fires. They are ubiquitous in the environment around computers and have been linked by the EPA to liver, thyroid and neurological illnesses.

Greenpeace has a long running campaign against toxic electronics, including an active twitter campaign, and EWG recommended the removal of BFRs from all substances as long ago as 2004.

Picture Credit: OLPC / 20080131.10D.47810 / SML by seeminglee from flickr under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License.

No comments: