Sunday, January 16, 2011

Solar panels to become future source of toxic e-waste

Scientists are calling upon solar panel manufacturers to set up a recycling infrastructure for their products now, before the supposedly green industry becomes the next major source of toxic e-waste.

Already electronics from televisions to cell phones and computers have become notorious for producing large quantities of toxic waste, including metals such as cadmium, selenium and silicon tetrachloride, and the greenhouse gas sulfur hexafluoride.

"Electronic waste is emerging as one of the central challenges of our era," writes Mark Schapiro in the book Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power.

Researcher Dustin Mulvaney of the University of California-Berkeley recently conducted a analysis of all solar panels on the market, and found major toxics concerns with every variety. Read more...

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