Title: [GreenYes] Re: WSJ Article on Lead Solder recycling in jewelry
Rereading the article and the BAN release, I think the whole link
(cheap jewelry to e-scrap) is fallacious. Electronic solder is cheap,
and its produced in huge quantities by factories in Guangzhou. Its
use in cheap jewelry predates any trade between USA and communist
China. Lead is 70% recycled content worldwide, 30% mined (relatively
speaking, a good thing). There are 11 articles in About.com about
using solder in jewelry.
I am surrounded by computer scrap, but if I want to make cheap
jewelery today, I will go to Radio Shack and buy a roll of solder.
BAN would discover that the solder in my jewelry is the same as
electronics solder. That doesn't prove recycling is to blame for my
The solder factory owner interviewed must know where her feedstock
comes from, and doesn't say. She certainly doesn't buy containers of
e-scrap (her weight estimate is ludicrous, and the percent of that
tonnage which would be useful to a solder factory is insignificant).
I'm sure they buy lead scrap, from auto batteries (Chinese and EU and
USA)... as we would want them to. We just don't want jewelers to use
For the Wall Street Journal to put "recycling" in the headline is a
cheap shot, and I'm sorry I posted the story with such vigor. When
any element (mercury, lead, etc.) comes from both mined and recycled
sources, the recycled source is the better environmental choice. If
we throw our lead away, China will mine more, and the world will have
lead in both places.