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In the spirit of greening up computer equipment, the newest version of the Apple MacBook eliminates arsenic and mercury from the monitor by using an LED screen instead of the traditional LCD. Apple eliminated brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride from internal parts and also constructed the body out of recyclable aluminum and glass.

Overall, the electronics marketplace is moving away from toxic chemicals, according to Greenpeace's Green Electronics Survey 2008. The survey results, released in January, suggest "a more competitive environment in a 'race to the top' to produce truly green products."

The European Union spurred the race when it enacted the Restriction of Hazardous Materials Directive in 2003. The directive limits lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants in electronic manufacturing. The EU's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive gave manufacturers the responsibility for recycling electronics in 2004.

Contributing Author

Christopher Danzig

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