Finger Painting for a Good Cause

by Michelle Frey

July 28, 2009

This morning HP headquarters received a very colorful message from Greenpeace activists. They scaled the HP building in Palo Alto, California and painted, "Hazardous Products" on the roof.

The message was simple and the medium that they used to paint was youthful. The Greenpeace activists used non-toxic children’s finger-paint to cover over 11,500 square ft. of HP’s roof. That’s roughly the size of 2-and-a-half basketball courts.

hazardous products

Greenpeace is tired of hearing excuses from HP. They are backtracking on their commitment to eliminate PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from their products by the end of 2009. Instead, they are extending the timeframe two more years until they go green.

If Apple can produce electronics that are virtually free of PVC and completely BFR-free — what is the hold-up for HP? They are good at making excuses for why they can’t honor their green commitments instead of putting their energy towards actually going green.

What ticks me off is that when HP says they are pushing the deadline two more years before they phase out toxic chemicals—that means two more years of hazardous, deadly pollutants damaging the environment and human health.

Take PVC for example. It is a nasty chemical. PVC contaminates humans and the environment during its production, use, and disposal. It is the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics, and can form dioxin, a known carcinogen, when burned. Two more years of PVC, HP, come on!

And, what about BFRs? They are equally nasty. BFRs are highly resistant to degradation in the environment and are able to bio-accumulate (build up in animals and humans) and can be released from products during use, leading to their presence in household dust and resulting in increased human exposure.

There is no reason for HP to continue using these toxic products. It’s technically feasible and consumers like YOU and me want it too. Go green, HP, and stop backtracking on your commitment to a healthy, cleaner future for our planet.


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