E-Waste Pollution is a Problem

This post has NOTHING to do with Apple products or any sort of support issue. It does have to with a “Digital LifeStyle,” and that I have something to say about. There are many aspects of the digitization of our experiences is immensely helpful and empowering. I am certainly not a Luddite. There are some implementations that are ridiculous and do nothing positive for humanity and instead contribute to a significant issue that will amount our progeny for generations, and that is the problems associated with electronic detritus.

Normally, anyone that knows me would assume I’m referring to some sort of pre-employment screening for cannabis consumption when referring to a pee test.
That is not the kind of piss in the bottle urine sample for the courts type of piss test.
This other pee test, is one that most women are familiar with, is a test for pregnancy.

Digital Pregnancy Testing?

It is possible to determine a pregnancy by exposing a simple test strip to urine yielding an indication on the strip showing the result. The material impact of most pregnancy test strips are minimal, aside from the ubiquitous plastics in packaging and the single use strip holders, which is significant. There are many different models and manufacturers and while they all have different holders and marketing materials the actual process is the exact same chemical reaction. The Science says the actual process is exactly the same, expose the strip to urine, view the result. It is possible to buy just the strips (without all the packaging and single use plastic strip holders). That’s the way most Labs will get theirs.  Manufacturers and consumers can do better (and ARE see Meet Lia).

Unfortunately we are dealing with an upward climb towards resource respect and appropriate technologies. It is good to recognize how we can be manipulated into doing really stupid things. Marketing geniuses have decided to “digitize” pregnancy testers. In doing so there is absolutely no improvement in reliability, all benefits are of a psychological and reassuring intent. There is a countdown meter so you don’t have to look at a watch, clock or phone while the reaction proceeds. Then there is the reassurance of a actual word result as opposed to differentiating between 1 or 2 bars on a strip. Other than those “benefits” there is no difference in efficacy.

E-Waste for no benefit!

That’s what makes this an even more insidious and almost deceitful product line. All that’s happening in the gadget is that the same test strip is being read by the technology. It is the exact same chemical reaction with an actual test strip being read by the sensors. It’s the same test strip, the same chemical reaction! Sam Goldheart’s article, “Newest, Dumbest E-Waste Is Pee-Waste” from the iFixIt blog does a technical breakdown of the devices. She does a typical iFixIt “Teardown” where interested technicians evaluate technical solutions for their repairability and recyclability. These digital pregnancy testers are the epitome of inappropriate and wasteful technology.

For the additional few dollars price above the other test products extracted from anxious consumers, women are duped into contributing all sorts of debris to the waste stream. How are these going to be recycled or repaired? From the little battery to the LCD screen, never mind the plastic housing, all of it bound to be pollution that potential unborn human being is going to have to deal with.

With no actual benefit to the consumer other than Marketing hype.

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