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Greenpeace paints 'hazardous products' on HP's roof

July 28, 2009 |  9:42 pm

Hp2.005 

Let this be a lesson to electronics companies everywhere: If you don't heed demands to remove toxic materials from your products, Greenpeace is going to paint your roof.

Luckily, they'll use nontoxic finger paint. The negative advertising, visible to passing birds and helicopters, won't last longer than the time it takes to power-wash it away.

Unless someone snaps a picture. Or films it.

It took about 10 minutes for a handful of activists to complete the mission, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner Casey Harrell said. Dressed in haz-mat suits and armed with motorized paint-sprayers, they scaled the building with industrial-strength ladders and blasted the words "hazardous products" on the roof of Hewlett-Packard's Palo Alto headquarters. And they didn't even get arrested.

The action followed demands by Greenpeace that Hewlett-Packard fulfill a promise to stop using hazardous materials such as PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants, which have been linked to thyroid hormone disruption in animals.

"Greenpeace will not stand idly by while companies that commit to environmentally responsible action backtrack on commitments," Harrell said in a statement Tuesday. "As the number one seller of PCs worldwide, HP has both the responsibility and the ability to make sure the company no longer deserves the moniker 'Hazardous Products.' "

HP said in a statement that the company was committed to eliminating  brominated flame retardants and PVC from its PC products by the end of 2011, according to wire reports.

-- Amy Littlefield

Photo credit: Kim White/Greenpeace; used with permission

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