Jul 6 - Beware of Exploding New Laptops

Laptop manufacturers have been facing some new problems in the past five years that have serious consequences. In an article by Alex Dobrota of Scripps Howard News Service, as many as 43 laptop fires have been reported in the United States.

Cindy Brown wrapped an Apple laptop and put it under the Christmas tree last year, thinking about the future of her 11-year-old son in an increasingly digitalized world.

Instead, her gift turned into a flaming nightmare.

It started as a quiet April evening. Brown and her husband had set the table of their second-floor dining room in Solon, Iowa. One story below, their son Nick left his laptop idling on the living-room carpet and headed into the basement to play an Xbox video game.

About 30 minutes later, a popping sound rattled the house. Brown dropped her fork and knife and rushed down the stairs to find the carpet already melted around the laptop.

Read the complete article.

These fires have been concluded to be from overheaded lithium ion batteries that supply power to the laptop. Many laptop batteries have been recalled for this reason in the past two years. Additionally, laptops containing hazardous materials can also make these fires more prominant. CAW is currently sponsoring AB 2202 (Saldaña) which would require manufacturers of electronic devices to phase out the use of mercury, lead, cadmium and hexavalent chromium by 2010. The bill is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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