The ‘One Laptop Per Child’ proposal is continuously kicking up controversies. Keeping aside the questions about its necessity, arguments about its configuration, or push-back about whether it’s really even possible – did one imagine the explosion of hazardous material waste it would cause across the developing world?! Thanks Triple Pundit, for raising this crucial issue.
Made with dioxin and so-called “brominated flame retardants,” as well as mercury, lead and other harmful metals, computer hardware can include plastics. True, the quantities may be small in any single machine. But, cumulatively, some 20-50 million tons of computers, electric and electronic waste enters the waste-stream every year. Once there toxic materials get into the water supply, they can lead to birth defects and even worse!
The OLPC project all use traditional materials for their systems, as in toxic. Can you imagine what kind of price those regions will have to pay a few years down the road, when the laptops are broken, discarded or replaced by newer designs — if the OLPC program manages to distribute a million laptops around the developing world?!
Via: World Changing