Electronics and Environmental Damage

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By Doug Whyte, CEO Imagine Research and Technology Inc.

Electronic components and products may be seriously damaging our planet. How? By failing.

Electronic equipment fails far too often – over 60% of electronic failures are random, intermittent events. That coupled with a bottom-line tendency on the part of some electronic manufacturers to cause consumers to replace equipment with new models, places an unacceptable pressure on the planet when these failed, useless items are disposed of. Everything from cell phones to computers to industrial electronics.

In the US over 10 million tons of failed electronics hits the landfills annually. Worldwide the number exceeds 45 million tons, and so the US is responsible for an inordinate amount of the total problem. Can the planet continue with this level of environmental stress?

If I may speak on behalf of future generations – our children and grandchildren, the response from them surely would be a resounding, “NO. What have you done?”

The native attitude and perspective is that we don’t own this planet, that we merely hold it in trust for future generations. This is certainly a good motto to live by.

At Imagine Research we are developing a series of high tech coatings for electronics, applied to the circuit board during manufacture. These environmentally benign materials target improvements in reliability, performance and longevity. If equipment is more reliable and lasts longer, we can have a positive impact.

According to 911.com, recycling circuit boards can be more valuable than mining for ore. Estimates are that one ton of circuit boards can contain up to 800 times more gold than one ton of ore, and up to 40 times more copper.

This planet is a small, closed-loop environment. We have a responsibility to where we live. Can we feel proud of what we are doing to it? We think so.

For more information on this visit our website at www.imagineresearchtech.com.

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