18 March 2008 22:30 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Electronics makers that use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) were sharply criticised on Tuesday by the environmental group Greenpeace on Tuesday in its ranking of “greener” electronics manufacturers.
Because they have pledged to only make PVC-free products, Tokyo-based computer manufacturer Toshiba and the South Korean electronics conglomerate Samsung tied for first place in the Greenpeace ranking, while Japanese video game maker Nintendo finished last.
The use of PVC is one of the main criteria used in the ranking.
Greenpeace has repeatedly protested the use of PVC because it says the thermoplastic polymer releases carcinogenic dioxins when burned for disposal.
However, Greenpeace co-founder and former member Patrick Moore has said that the group’s criticism of PVC did not have any basis in scientific fact.
According to the Vinyl Institute, a trade group, PVC is an extremely small source of dioxin, and the amount of dioxin in the environment would be essentially unchanged if PVC were not being manufactured.
Greenpeace has also complained that the softened PVC used in electronics to insulate wiring contains phthalates, a plasticiser that it says has also been linked to cancer.
Although industry groups maintain that phthalates are only carcinogenic when ingested in massive doses, Greenpeace and other environmental groups have successfully pressured numerous retailers and manufacturers to phase out use of the plasticiser.
Outright bans on phthalates are already in place in ?xml:namespace>
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