A recent Greenpeace report has stressed the need for electronics companies to deal with e-waste.
The report names Apple, Dell, IBM/Lenovo, HP, Siemens, Acer, Toshiba, Panasonic and Fujitsu-Siemens as companies that have refused to commit to "eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals such as PVC and brominated flame retardants in the manufacturing of their products".
It explains that Samsung, Nokia, Sony and Sony Ericsson have made such commitments, and observes that LG Elecronics did so most recently.
"With the most recent commitment of LG, the five 'first in class' companies in the electronics sector with 55 per cent share of the global mobile telephone market and Sony, which is the leader in the electronics industry, show that it is possible to make electronic equipment without the use of these hazardous substances and still remain profitable," said Zeina Alhajj, Greenpeace international toxics campaigner.
The campaigners measured the levels of hazardous chemicals at e-waste processing plants in China and India, and found that despite safeguards, such waste continues to leak into the surrounding environment.
Dr Kevin Brigden, a Greenpeace International scientist, who collected the samples, said: "The data reinforces the need for the electronics industry to eliminate the use of harmful substances in products at the design stage and take responsibility for its products at the end of their lifecycle."