U.S. Water News Online
BEIJING -- Factories that make components for major
electronics manufacturers are polluting water supplies in China and
other developing countries, the environmental group Greenpeace said.
The group called on mobile phones and consumer electronics makers
to clean up manufacturing processes and for China and other
governments to tighten standards on handling toxic chemicals.
Greenpeace said it tested waste water and soil around factories in
southern China, as well as Thailand, the Philippines and Mexico, that
make or assemble printed wiring boards, semiconductors or
Researchers found unsafe levels of solvents, heavy metals and
other materials in many samples, Greenpeace said in a report.
Electronics makers and their component suppliers "are
contaminating rivers and underground water with a wide range of toxic
chemicals,"the group said in a statement issued with the report.
Two factories cited in the report both were in China's southern
province of Guangdong. Greenpeace said one was operated by Taiwan's
Compeq Manufacturing Co., a major electronics parts supplier, and the
other by a company identified only as Fortune.
It was not clear what companies use the components made by Compeq,
but Greenpeace said Apple Inc., Motorola Inc. and Nokia Corp. were
Industrial pollution is a volatile issue in China, sparking
sometimes violent protests by farmers who say their water supplies
and crops are damaged by factory emissions. Environmental officials
say China's rivers and lakes are so badly polluted that millions of
people have no access to water deemed clean enough to drink.
Activists also decry damage done by a computer recycling industry
in China's southeast that relies on villagers to salvage materials by
hand, often leaving toxic material in the soil or water.
Greenpeace appealed to Beijing for "more stringent regulations
regarding discharges from electronics production facilities.''
The test results show that the current regulations on water
discharge are "too lax to mitigate the environmental impact of
electronics industry,"the group said.
Another facility cited by the Greenpeace report was a Sony Corp.
factory in Tijuana, in northern Mexico, that assembles televisions
and liquid crystal display panels.
In a written response to questions, Sony's Tokyo headquarters said
the Tijuana facility has "no process of generating industrial
wastewater discharge"and produces only kitchen and restroom waste,
which is sent to a municipal treatment facility.
"Given this situation, we believe that substance which Greenpeace
found has no relation to"the factory, the Sony statement said.
Greenpeace also cited five factories in Thailand that make printed
Return to the
U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.