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Re: [GreenYes] Houston starts e-recycling program
Another very large problem in electronics recycling is the BFRs, or bromated
fire retardants. One that has gotten a lot of attention is the PBDE group.
The EPA is concerned because the growth of these chemicals is higher than
PCBs came into our lives. They may be more persistant than PCBs as well.

Workers at the electronics disassembly plants have been found to have
extremely elevated levels in their bodies. I don't think anyone has looked
at us yet -- the computer users. I few months back, the Ecology Center got
some new iMacs. If I stood close to one, I got a wiff of some potent stuff,
probably the BFRs. I got a headache from it. The smell diminished after
prolonged use. It's still there, but you have to be on top of it to notice.

The following is from Sjödin, A. Occupational and Dietary Exposure to
Organohalogen Substances, with Special Emphasis on Polybrominated Diphenyl
Ethers. ISBN 91-7265-052-4 Akademitryck, Edsbruk, 2000

Ambient air measurements of BFRs at an electronics dismantling plant showed
significantly higher levels of hexa- to decabrominated diphenyl ethers
(hexaBDE-decaBDE), tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and
1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE) than in any other indoor
facilities, including IT intensive work environments. Serum PBDE levels in
workers at a dismantling plant were found to have significantly elevated
concentrations of hepta- to decaBDEs, compared to a non-exposed group of
women, comprised of cleaners. Results were obtained that unambiguously show
that decaBDE is bioavailable, even though it has a molecular mass of 959 and
previously was regarded as not being bioavailable. The decaBDE is present
both in the workers and in persons from the control group. The decaBDE has
however also been shown to be much less persistent than other PBDE
congeners, with a half-life in humans of approximately 7 days, while a
heptaBDE was shown to have a half-life of almost 3 months. TBBPA was also
shown at low levels in human blood and to have a short half-life. Human
exposure to organohalogen substances (OHS) via intake of contaminated fish
has been studied in a group of Latvian and Swedish men with highly
interindividual consumption of fatty Baltic Sea fish. The OHS levels
observed in serum were significantly related to both age and fish
consumption for PCB and DDE but not for 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether,
representing traditionally studied and newer OHS, respectively.

More at

Peace to all.

Paul Goettlich
PO Box 517
Berkeley  CA  94701
Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur

----- Original Message -----
From: Ted Smith
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 6:31 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] Houston starts e-recycling program

Oct. 8, 2001, 9:53PM
Houston targets high-tech trash
Recycling program to collect old electronics for safe disposal
Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle

They are hidden in attics, closets and other domestic nooks and crannies in
houses across America. Millions of old computers, monitors, keyboards,
printers -- harmless, outdated relics of technology.

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