Toxins in your TV, poisons in your PC?

Feature story - November 22, 2004
Toxic chemicals found in products like home electronics are polluting environments across the globe and traces of which are found in most newborn babies. Discover the good companies removing these poisons from their products and pressure the bad guys by doing our Toxic Tech Test!

Unborn babies are exposed in the womb to synthetic chemicals. Companies can choose to remove them chemicals from products if they wish.

Will writing to the companies make a difference?

Due to our campaign to reduce toxic pollution, Samsung, Nokia and Puma have announced plans to phase out toxic chemicals in all their products. Sony is removing them from their TV's. This is due to pressure from publishing the companies' chemicals policy on the web. If a huge company like Samsung can do it then there is no reason other companies cannot follow suit to help protect the environment.

But big brands like Dell, HP/Compaq, Apple and IBM have all refused to take this positive step. Make them think again by writing to say you'll choose a more responsible company the next time you make a purchase.

Why are chemicals in products important?

Samsung and Nokia produce millions of electronics items each year. Going toxics free means less pollution and worker exposure during production, less chemicals in your home during use and easier, cleaner recycling and disposal. These voluntary measures are great, but other companies will never change unless they are forced to by law. Only then will these toxic chemicals be brought under control.

What about those laws?

Current regulation of chemicals is weak and inadequate. Almost everyone has dozens of man-made chemicals in their body, the effects of these chemical cocktails on our health are unknown. In Europe the EU is drafting new laws, that would set a world standard, to better control these chemicals.

While better chemical control should be welcomed by all, it is under attack from predictable quarters. The chemical industry has been scare mongering with exaggerated claims of job losses and declining profits. It has also recruited dirty industries best friend, the Bush Administration, to threaten Europe with a World Trade Organisation lawsuit if it dares to try and cut toxic pollution.

The best way to counter inaccurate industry lobbying is to have other companies' show they can do without toxic chemicals. The list is growing - Ikea, H&M, Marks&Spencer, Nokia, Samsung and Puma are leading the way. Adidas, Unilever and Sony are heading in the right direction.

Your pressure from the Toxic Tech Test can help add companies to the good list and help in the battle for a toxic free future!

Spread the word!

If you have taken the action but know people who also have products? Why not email them the link to join the action?

Check the online product database to see which companies and brands are toxics free and who are not:

English | French | Spanish | Dutch | Italian (pdf file)

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More Info

Backround on the Chemical Crisis and our campaign for a toxic free future.

Intro to the upcoming EU chemical law (REACH).

BushGreenwatch: Administration Steps Up Pressure on EU to Weaken Proposed Chemical Laws.