Group calls for more green electronics accountability
By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling
The American Public Health Association membership has voted on a resolution to encourage the electronics industry to improve their effort to protect workers and the environment from toxic materials.
Citing the potentially harmful effects of toxic materials and metals used in electronic products on human health, reproductive ability and the broader environment, the organization voted strongly in favor of the resolution, which calls on electronics manufacturers to implement more robust environmental health and safety procedures. The resolution specifically named four of the top five PC makers — Lenovo, Hewlett Packard, Dell and Acer — as well as other OEMs, component makers and manufacturing subcontractors such as Intel, Foxconn and Samsung.
The resolution calls for expanding workers' and communities' right to know what materials they are being exposed to at manufacturing sites; the phasing out of hazardous materials and the use of safer alternatives; and the collection of health and safety data for continuous improvement.
It's not enough to look at just the problem of e-waste, we have to look at how these products are manufactured and used throughout their life cycle," said International Campaign for Responsible Technology Coordinator Ted Smith. "This resolution is non-binding, but it's a very powerful statement on the importance of human health that I think many manufacturers will take to heart."
Other groups supporting the APHA resolution this week included the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, the International Campaign for Responsible Technology and a host of other organizations. Supporters plan on circulating the resolution to all major OEMs, as well as providing it to lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad.