HEAVY METAL(S)

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“Heavy metal” isn’t associated only with rock music. In sustainability, it refers to real metals like cadmium, mercury and lead. And we can all agree that while a little heavy metal ringing in our earphones is OK, we really don’t want to find heavy metals in our water or soil. However, they’re in the electronics we use every day.

Consider lead. You might not remember when lead was a common ingredient in gasoline. It was 1973 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published “EPA’s Position on the Health Implications of Airborne Lead,” and not too long after, automobile manufacturers introduced the catalytic converter, designed to run only on unleaded fuel. And lead paint causes nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney damage, and delayed development and is considered a likely carcinogen.

Mercury poisoning has been studied for nearly 100 years, but many of us grew up with our parents sticking mercury thermometers in our mouths. The charge to get mercury out of healthcare is championed by Health Care Without Harm, who in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) has created an initiative to eliminate mercury in thermometers and blood pressure monitoring devices around the globe by 2020. Ironically, we probably have more mercury in our homes now than when mercury thermometers were in their heyday. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) contain mercury and should not be put in the trash. That means you must return them to retailers when they die. If one happens to break, follow the EPA’s guidance for cleanup.

Cadmium poisoning most often is associated with industrial exposure, cigarettes, and pigments used by artists. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) has documented known hazards associated with cadmium since 1992.

Do not throw your electronics into the trash – no matter how small the device, no matter how convenient it may be to do so. The metals in e-waste make ordinary trash toxic. It’s why more and more states and municipalities are banning them from landfills. If you don’t know what to do with your e-waste, drop me a line and I’ll give you some suggestions: cbaroudi@arrow.com.

About steve@bayintegratedmarketing.com

Steve Ulrich is a principal at Bay Integrated Marketing: www.bayintegratedmarketing.com. I have been working with people to maximize their use of social media and internet publishing, optimize their websites to turn prospects into customers, and establish their personal brand on the internet. We are also working with Eco Distribution, Inc. to find and implement practical solutions to help clean up our air and the environment. Eco Distribution, Inc. is a California based Distributor and Representative Firm dealing in environmentally friendly and Green solutions. We have leveraged 30 years experience in responsible construction management to provide solutions for some of the most impactful challenges facing our air, water, and land. We have an oil/hydrocarbon remediation system that is effective on everything from simple oil stains on a driveway, to complex oil disasters in the ocean. My approach to social media and internet marketing is simple. Instead of spending a fortune “buying” keywords and ads that don’t return anything we concentrate on three areas: I CAN GET YOU FOUND ON LINKEDIN - NUMBER ONE, PAGE ONE.
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