Greenpeace bought five top-brand laptops this summer and asked an independent laboratory to test them for toxic chemicals. The brand-new laptops were taken apart and tested for nasty stuff brominated flame retardants (BFRs), polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC), and lead.
Looks can be deceiving:
Of all the laptops tested, Apple’s sexy new MacBook was the most contaminated, with a concentration of 262 mg/kg of the toxic chemical TBBPA, a form of brominated flame retardant.
...And corporate statements often are too:
Results 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.
HP needs to ask its suppliers some tough questions. Lead was also found in the soldering.
This Greenpeace report (PDF) published today details all the results of the tests. More background information about this and our campaign against e-waste available here and here.