Toxic Tech Victory

Sony Ericsson announces phase out of toxic chemicals

Feature story - 29 April, 2005
Sony Ericsson has announced that it will be phasing toxic chemicals out of its entire product range. The company listened to the thousands of participants in our online action demanding that electronics companies phase out toxic chemicals and substitute them with safer alternatives.

Sony Ericsson phone - Sony Ericsson has recently committed to remove toxic chemicals from its entire product range. Market leaders such as Sony Ericsson show that substitution of toxics with safer alternatives is possible.

Demand for toxic-free products is clearly the people's choice. Back in November we asked for your help to pressure electroniccompanies to change for the better. Over 14,000 people from across theglobe responded by writing over 32,000 messages to the top producers ofmobile phones, computers and TVs. Sony Ericsson listened.  We hopethe other companies are listening too. 

Now just onecompany phasing out toxic substances might not sound like a big deal.But in 2004 Sony Ericsson sold 42 million phones. Soon millions ofthese phones will be shipped without containing chemicals hazardous tohuman health and the environment.

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Why are chemicals in products important?

Companies going toxics-free means less pollution and worker exposureduring production, less chemicals in your home during use and easier,cleaner recycling and disposal. Discover more companies taking postivesteps in our toxic free catwalk.

Our recent tests ofproducts in Italy revealed that consumer goods aimed at children andbabies contained the highest levels of toxic substances, out of ashopping basket of everyday articles. For example Mattel's BarbieFashion Fever contained high levels of toxic chemicals.

These results show that company voluntary measures are good, but othercompanies will never change unless they are forced to by law. Only thenwill these toxic chemicals be phased out and substituted withsafer alternatives.

What about those laws?

Current regulation of chemicals is weak and inadequate. Almost everyonehas dozens of man-made chemicals in their body, the effects of thesechemical cocktails on our health are unknown. In Europe the EU isdrafting new laws, that would set a world standard, we need to makesure that the new law not only identifies all hazardous chemicals, butalso requires their substitution with safer alternatives.

While better chemical regulation should be welcomed by all, it is underattack from predictable quarters. The chemical industry has been scaremongering with exaggerated claims of job losses and declining profits.It has also recruited dirty industries best friend, the BushAdministration, to threaten Europe with a World Trade Organisationlawsuit if it dares to try and cut toxic pollution.

Thebest way to counter inaccurate industry lobbying is to have othercompanies' show they can do without toxic chemicals. The list isgrowing - Ikea, H&M, Sony Ericsson, Marks&Spencer, Sony, Nokiaand Puma are leading the way.

Comment on this victory for a toxic free future at our action centre.

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