Sunday, October 29, 2006

Environmentally-friendly but not worker-friendly

Via brownfemipower, here's a video that highlights some of the labor abuses in the developing Mexican electronics industry.

Notice that some of the workers exposed to toxic materials are working at salvage and recycling centers, preventing environmental problems from those materials seeping out of landfills, but the workers themselves are not protected.

The US government declined to sign an international agreement pledging not to dump discarded electronics on poor countries, so US computer-users currently must take it upon themselves to see that their electronics are disposed of responsibly. Since you're reading this on the internet, and probably a US citizen, this is something you will have to think about when you're looking to upgrade. For info on how to recycle your computer in a way that is friendly both to the environment and the people who live in it, see this CNET article, or consult this list of responsible e-cyclers.
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