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California Classes LED Component Gallium Arsenide a Carcinogen

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the tooth-fairy-is-a-cat-burglar dept.

Medicine 495

Reader LM741N, pointing to a report released this month by California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, writes "Gallium Arsenide has now been listed as a carcinogen. Given the increasing usage of gallium arsenide, the main constituent in LEDs, and their recent championing as more efficient light sources in recent news stories and Slashdot, there may be significant environmental concerns as related to their disposal. Morover, workers in industries using the substance may be at risk of cancer as well."

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Known to cause cancer... (4, Informative)

jeffy210 (214759) | about 6 years ago | (#24729309)

Ah, California, where everything is known the cause cancer. I just got back from a trip there and saw those signs everywhere, even on most buildings. It seems to the locals it has even become a running gag.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729487)

Ah, California, where everything is known the cause cancer.

Including sand. When I lived there, one of the utility bills (I forget which one) always had a statement that the company used chemicals "known to the state of California to cause cancer", because they used sand at some of the plants.

This just in (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729525)

Slashdot causes cancer!*

*in California

Re:This just in (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 6 years ago | (#24730035)

And brain rot everywhere else.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (-1, Flamebait)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 6 years ago | (#24729543)

No surprise here. California has always been on path to economic self-destruction. This is what happens when you have nanny state liberals in office.

Let California be a lesson to the remaining 49 on how *NOT* to run a state. Sorry, but sexy women and nice weather alone will not be enough for its future.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 years ago | (#24729623)

This is what happens when you have nanny state liberals in office. Let California be a lesson to the remaining 49 on how *NOT* to run a state.

Did you forget to back that up with some compelling statistics you're saving for later? Let's compare housing values in silicon valley vs. detroit to see if you're right.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | about 6 years ago | (#24729859)

This is what happens when you have nanny state liberals in office. Let California be a lesson to the remaining 49 on how *NOT* to run a state.

Did you forget to back that up with some compelling statistics you're saving for later? Let's compare housing values in silicon valley vs. detroit to see if you're right.

That's just a comparison of the desirability of living in those places. No, it's more accurate to compare state government fiscal responsibility between California and Ohio. The fact that the economy in California continues to be able to support ruinously idiotic government that continually spends more than it takes in is part of what keeps the idiots in charge, in charge. If California were a marginal rust-belt state, it's residents would have thrown those morons in the legislature out long ago.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 years ago | (#24729869)

#1 GDP of US states, #10 GDP per capita. Diversified economy including agriculture, shipping, assorted manufacturing, and high tech.

Truly, a downtrodden people, crying out for the better way of life enjoyed by their fellow men in Mississippi.

While we're on the subject, after the thorough screwing that California got from the ever wise and beneficent market during the electricity deregulation and crisis, I'm guessing that they might not be rushing with open arms into a bold era of state nonintervention.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729913)

#1 cash crop - marijuana.

California is just screwy. This is a place that costs you a few hundred dollars if you get caught smoking a cigarette at a bar but about $70 if you are caught at the same place smoking a joint.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (0, Redundant)

strabes (1075839) | about 6 years ago | (#24729953)

Truly, a downtrodden people, crying out for the better way of life enjoyed by their fellow men in Mississippi.

I'm sure all the middle class people in California giving thirty percent of their income to the government (soon to be more if we become an Obamanation) are really happy about it and wish the government would take more of their money.

#1 GDP of US states

Surprise! The US State with the largest population has the largest GDP.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about 6 years ago | (#24730083)

Truly, a downtrodden people, crying out for the better way of life enjoyed by their fellow men in Mississippi.

The right-wing anarcho-capitalist nutjobs HATE it that "liberal" states tend to be far more economically prosperous than the "conservative" anti-environment, anti-union states. It kills them.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 6 years ago | (#24729647)

"Sorry, but sexy women and nice weather alone will not be enough for its future."

It would be enough, if the high tax rate weren't driving the entertainment industry out of Southern California. Maybe they should make some kind of exception for Hollywood, just to keep this liberal nanny-state alive.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

UltraAyla (828879) | about 6 years ago | (#24729697)

California has always been on path to economic self-destruction

Which is why it has consistently had the strongest economy in the nation?

Re:Known to cause cancer... (5, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | about 6 years ago | (#24729885)

California has always been on path to economic self-destruction

Which is why it has consistently had the strongest economy in the nation?

As a life-long resident of California, I can guarantee that the success of the economy is in spite of the state government, not because of it.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Insightful)

UltraAyla (828879) | about 6 years ago | (#24730089)

That may be true, but that's not the point. The point is that we're not on a path to "economic self-destruction." The mere presence of hindrances does not mean you are in an awful situation.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 6 years ago | (#24729867)

California has always been on path to economic self-destruction.

Yeah, I suppose Apple, Lockheed, General Dynamics, and all those other high tech, aerospace, entertainment, and agricultural industries are leading the way. No matter that it has the 10th largest economy in the world. And that damn Austrian running the place, he's a real liberal all right. Yep, stay away. The place is dying. Netcraft confirms it.

RTFA (2, Informative)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 6 years ago | (#24729975)

No surprise here. California has always been on path to economic self-destruction. This is what happens when you have nanny state liberals in office.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) of the California Environmental Protection Agency is adding gallium arsenide to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer and hexafluoroacetone, nitrous oxide and vinyl cyclohexene dioxide to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity for the purposes of Proposition 65. [oehha.org]

This was a proposition. It was passed by the voters. The same ones who legalized marijuana, which ironically seems to have limited carcinogenicity because you never see any California state labels on it. Not that I would know.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

MrCawfee (13910) | about 6 years ago | (#24729571)

California has a lower limit for cancer causing chemicals than other states, which is why you see those signs on pretty much every older building.

I can't see how posting a sign has any effect on your life whatsoever, and yes.. the chemicals they are talking about DO cause cancer (although chances are they are harmless in those concentrations)

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 6 years ago | (#24729669)

The sign is pretty cheap, but the administrative overhead in determining which sign, how big, and compliance with all current laws, state, local, and whatever someone can pull out of their ass this week all add up. Businesses raise prices to compensate.

Then, there's the boy that cried wolf. If every square inch of everything is plastered with cancer warnings, people might miss the ones that warn of a near certain cancer mortality within 5 years because of all the ones for the 1 in one billion risk of mortality within 90 years.

I'm all for public health and product safety. Many states don't do nearly enough for either. However, Ca seems to have gone overboard.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

ohxten (1248800) | about 6 years ago | (#24730007)

Or maybe the other states have just gone underboard, if that's even a word. It's nice to see those warnings. I once saw a product at a sports store, and it had one of those warnings on it. Turns out it was because there was lead in the product, and I'da never thunk it. Now imagine if that warning label wasn't there and some parent left the product around their little kids?

If it's thought to be a carcinogen, I sure as heck would like to know. I was wondering when they'd come out with issues about LED's, and I'm not surprised now that I hear about them. It's a shame, though, I was thinking they'd be a viable alternative to mercury-filled CCFL's.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (3, Informative)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#24729685)

"California has a lower limit for cancer causing chemicals than other states, which is why you see those signs on pretty much every older building."

No, California has a law requiring ANYTHING that contains ANYTHING that MAY cause cancer to have that sign. As far as I know, there are no lower limits - if it contains any amount of any of the list of substances known to the State of California to possibly cause cancer, it gets the label.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

hardburn (141468) | about 6 years ago | (#24729853)

Let's do a study showing that unnecessary beurachracy causes cancer. We can crash the whole CA government in one swoop, just like Captian Kirk telling a computer "this statement is false!"

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#24729987)

"We can crash the whole CA government in one swoop, just like Captian Kirk telling a computer "this statement is false!""

Feh - the Comptroller can crash California by just being an asshole and appealing to the Lords of COBOL.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

Rakishi (759894) | about 6 years ago | (#24729713)

It matters because I have no ides if that sign is there because the paint makes the air itself lethal to me or because they use trace amounts of these chemicals in cleaning the sink in the office.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 6 years ago | (#24730051)

What happens if someone finds something in the signs might pose a cancer risk however slight, signs on the signs?

"Warning this sign may be a carcinogen."

The real reason things in CA cause cancer (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 years ago | (#24729593)

When you mix Californium [wikipedia.org] and Governmentium [wikipedia.org] , causing cancer is the only chemical reaction that is allowed to happen.

The radioactive decay products of Californium include Liberelium and a heavy isotope of Governmentium called Bigovernmentium, which when combined are known to be toxic.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about 6 years ago | (#24729601)

I can't believe the number of people bashing California for the cancer labels. Since when is it a bad thing to notify consumers that the products they're buying and using may pose a health risk? I suppose you might also be against putting cancer warning labels on cigarettes?

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24729667)

Lets see... Because it seems like everything can cause cancer there. Cigarettes will cause cancer in a lot of people's lifetimes even with moderate smoking. A lot of the things that California requires warning labels to be put on only will cause you cancer if you eat 4000 of them in a year, inject them into your blood, etc. Excess warning labels only make people not read them and you know what happened when the little boy called wolf a bit too many times...

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

konohitowa (220547) | about 6 years ago | (#24729673)

What products exactly are they buying and using that are labeled as such that were referenced in this thread? Buildings? You mean they're protecting all of those consumers out buying buildings? Or those masses of consumers buying GaAs for their many home semiconductor recipes?

I can't believe you think labeling the shit out of anything and everything is even remotely reasonable. It's actually dangerous. Why? Because people stop taking ALL of the warnings seriously.

Fuck dude. Did you think Reefer Madness was a documentary too?

Re:Known to cause cancer... (5, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | about 6 years ago | (#24729761)

We have such a warning at work, on the doors. There are indeed dangerous chemicals in the building, in one chemical lab, accessible to maybe 10 chemists. The remaining 1,990 workers do sales and support and design stuff on computers.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about 6 years ago | (#24729799)

Well, its a free country, so feel free to not read any warning you like. But I like knowing that the power cable on my blender contains lead and that I should wash my hands after plugging it in and before touching food. I like knowing which products at Home Depot are more likely to cause respiratory problems. And yes, if a building I worked in contained excessive levels of some toxin, I would like to know about it.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (5, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | about 6 years ago | (#24729919)

Well, its a free country, so feel free to not read any warning you like. But I like knowing that the power cable on my blender contains lead and that I should wash my hands after plugging it in and before touching food. I like knowing which products at Home Depot are more likely to cause respiratory problems. And yes, if a building I worked in contained excessive levels of some toxin, I would like to know about it.

You don't get that kind of information though. You get a generic Proposition 95 warning sign that basically says "something sold, kept, or used on these premises has been deemed a cancer risk by borderline hypochondriac bureaucrats at the state level." It's no fucking use at all.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (0, Troll)

Detritus (11846) | about 6 years ago | (#24729985)

If you wash your hands after plugging in a power cable, you really are a moron and should remove all sharp objects from your residence.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 6 years ago | (#24729703)

It's bad when they probably don't. The truth is that labeling laws don't accomplish anything. Especially when you put warnings about cancer on everything. Every building down here has that "known to cause cancer" sign on it. It's ridiculous scaremongering.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

Rakishi (759894) | about 6 years ago | (#24729763)

Life causes health risks so I guess we need to label all newborns on their forehead just in case (backwards so they can later read it in the mirror).

The thing is that they're NOT notifying customers because those signs are so absurdly broad. The outside air is probably more likely to kill me than 99.9% of the things (buildings, cars, etc.) that have these signs on them. I have no idea how much of a safety risk something is or isn't. I have no ideal what chemicals are being used, where they are being used, how likely they are to get to me and so on.

In fact the only thing those signs have taught me is that I should ignore those signs and that all these warnings are overblown. Yeah, what a great thing to teach people.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

Moofie (22272) | about 6 years ago | (#24729821)

Water poses a health risk. So does sunlight.

It's a bad thing to give people a disproportionate fear of getting cancer from things that pose trivial risks. As long as you don't eat three square meals a day of LEDs, you're probably not going to get cancer from LEDs.

Informing people of actual risks is good. Informing people of trivial risks dilutes the notion of risk.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 6 years ago | (#24729861)

Examples of buildings that have the signs posted:

  - Junk yards
  - Gas stations
  - Vehicle maintenance yards
  - Recycling stations
  - Apartment complexes
  - Malls
  - Grocery stores
  - Hospitals
  - Vacant lots

And that's just the start of it. No one pays attention to them anymore, and even if we did, we wouldn't know just what the problem was, because the law only requires that the sign be posted, not explain what led to it being posted.

Boy Who Cried Wolf syndrome (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 years ago | (#24730087)

Since when is it a bad thing to notify consumers that the products they're buying and using may pose a health risk?

Since doing so excessively will trivialize the risk.

Imagine if instead of severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings, the national weather service issued "wet weather" warnings any time it wasn't sunny. You couldn't tell the difference between a summer shower and a hurricane, and since summer showers are much more common you wouldn't realize today's warning meant 80mph winds until it was too late.

If you are going to do warning labels for things that aren't a significant risk, you should at least put a "danger level" on them. We could have categories like for tornadoes:

Instead of the Enhanced Fujita Scale, we'll have the Enhanced California Scale:

EC0 - You might get cancer. But 40 million other Californians won't.
EC1 - 1 in a million lifetime cancer risk from a single exposure
EC2 - 1 in 10,000 lifetime cancer risk from a single exposure
EC3 - 1 in 100 lifetime cancer risk from a single exposure
EC4 - If you touch it and live another 50 years, you'll get cancer
EC5 - You'll be lucky to be alive a year from now
EC6 - You'll be lucky if you live long enough to finish reading this senten

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 6 years ago | (#24730101)

The signs are stupid don't tell you anything useful.

In some places, all the hotels have the sign. It doesn't tell you what the carcinogens are, how much there is, where in the facility they are, how much exposure you might get, what the risk is, or what you could do to control the risk.

It's a pretty safe bet that any building has something that, if properly prepared and administered in sufficient quantities over a long enough time, causes cancer. The cigarettes in the hotel lobby shop mean the hotel has carcinogens. The charcoal grilled steaks in the restaurant have carcinogens. If you took apart the TV in the room and decocted the various plastics and rare metals into a kind of gritty slurry, you'd have something that you wouldn't want to put on your English muffins every morning.

And some hotels don't have the signs. It doesn't take a genius to figure out this doesn't mean they're any different, the sign thing hasn't got there yet. Once all the hotels have the signs, then you're pretty much presented with a Hobson's choice: stay in a hotel that has carcinogens in it, or sleep in your car. Which probably has carcinogens in it.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#24729655)

"I just got back from a trip there and saw those signs everywhere, even on most buildings. It seems to the locals it has even become a running gag."

Don't worry - it's a running gag for the rest of the country too.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | about 6 years ago | (#24729665)

Even some of the restaurants have them [flickr.com] , "WARNING: Chemicals Known to the State of California to cause cancer, or birth defects, or other reproductive harm may be present in food or beverages sold here or served here"

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1, Troll)

lgw (121541) | about 6 years ago | (#24729691)

It's not jus the building, it's the cars! I'm still struggling to believe this - at first I thought the stickers (on the drivers window, no less) were some kind of meme/joke on the notices on every building, but no! Your tax dollars at work.

Here's a hint, hippies: when every building and car has a sign on it warning that this area contains chemicals known to cause birth defects and cancer, it makes the warnings a joke. It also makes you a joke. It doesn't do anything to change the chemicals used in manufacture, butcause no one takes the signs seriously.

Also, I'm sure there are a few places where the levels of dangerous chemicals are genuinly dangerous, but I'll blunder right into them because every place has the same damn warning.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 6 years ago | (#24729875)

I've always wondered why the signs aren't everywhere outside too, since sunlight is known to cause cancer.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (3, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 years ago | (#24729807)

California claims to not be deciding it's carcinogenic? IARC [oehha.org] :

IARC issued the Volume 86 in its series IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. In this monograph, IARC concluded that gallium arsenide is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). Health and Safety Code section 25249.8(a) requires that certain substances identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) or the National Toxicology Program (NTP), as described in Labor Code section 6382(b)(1) and (d), be included on the Proposition 65 list as causing cancer. Accordingly, volume 86 is at this location [monographs.iarc.fr]

I don't understand California's conclusions that it should be added to the list, the IARC monogram they use [monographs.iarc.fr] as a basis for adding it to the list state that: 5.5 Evaluation There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of gallium arsenide. There is limited evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of gallium arsenide.

Re:Known to cause cancer... (1)

nick_davison (217681) | about 6 years ago | (#24729957)

I love that Fry's has signs up at their registers saying their receipts cause cancer... then they ask you to touch the damn things to show them to their anti-theft goons on the way out.

My response is usually, "I just saw the sign that says your receipt causes cancer. I'm sure as hell not touching it. But if you want to reach in to my pocket to get it, feel free. Ignore the hole." Curiously, they've never once cared enough about anti-theft to go fishing.

Of course, hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon, neon, iron and nitrogen are also all believed to cause cancer in California.

Get cancer from an LED? (5, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | about 6 years ago | (#24729315)

I guess I will have to stop eating LEDs, at least while in California.

Re:Get cancer from an LED? (4, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | about 6 years ago | (#24729343)

"I guess I will have to stop eating LEDs, at least while in California."

I hope insertion is still safe!

!Carginogen (4, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 6 years ago | (#24729321)

I, for one, am terrified of anything called a "Carginogen".

Re:!Carginogen (4, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about 6 years ago | (#24729465)

I think that this is more or less the point. California has lost sight of 'risk management' in favor of 'risk avoidance'.

The problem? You can't economically avoid all risk. Apple seeds contain a poison/carcinogen. Yet, in order to have a risk of getting cancer from it along the lines of winning the lottery - you'd have to practically eat your body mass in seeds.

Lead is a carcinogen, in fairly massive doses. It'll generally lead to heavy metal poisoning long before you have to worry about it giving you cancer. As a bonus, when contained in a solder you really only have to worry about it if you're drinking water run over it, like in pipes. Sitting in your playstation or DVD player, it's not a concern to anybody but the workers soldering all day, and we have machines for that now.

Yet we spend billions on developing lead free solder techniques that create bonds that are worse than lead ones for these applications*, tending to break more often.

California bans** incandescent light bulbs - then starts screaming and holloring about the relatively tiny amount of mercury in fluorescent bulbs, now the gallium arsenide in LED lights.

When you have those 'contains something california has determined causes cancer' signs on everything, it becomes useless because you can't just chose to use stuff without them, and if you look at the literature the risk is negligible anyways. So it just ends up being a waste of time, effort, and money.

Heck, I'm fairly certain that the gallium in a LED is protected enough that even if a tyke ate a led it'd just come out the other end.

What california should do is set a standard - only the more dangerous cancer causing substances such as cigarettes and asbestos get the warning. Other items with carcinogenic substances have to show how well sealed the substance is/amounts, which is plugged into some sort of equation to see if it requires a sign. Then people will probably pay attention to the signs.

I'm sorry, but this is the sort of stuff that makes people think that the greenies just want to send us back to the stone age.

*You have a point if you're looking at drinking water pipes, but otherwise?
**In the future, but play with me

Re:!Carginogen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729627)

Oh shut up! They haven't banned them, they've done the sensible thing and pointed out they carry health issues. Now please fuck off and consume DDT daily, and do the gene pool a favor.

Re:!Carginogen (5, Insightful)

txoof (553270) | about 6 years ago | (#24729687)

Sign blindness is more of a real problem than the tiny amount of Gallium in LEDs. If you want to protect people, you can't deluge them with constant warnings. They eventually become sign blind and begin ignoring, or worse mocking warning labels. According to the labels, every can of paint in the hardware store causes cancer in California. But what I don't know is if paint A is going to make me infertile the moment I look at it, or if paint B is just a problem if I drink 5 gallons of it. The labels don't have any kind of granularity.

A color coded system might do consumers well. No color==mostly OK. Green==Don't eat a bunch of this, it's not good for you. Yellow==Take care when using this, ventilation is a good idea and long term exposure is probably going to hurt you. Red==For the love of all that is holly, wear a respirator or leave it for the pros. Black==if you are reading this, you're already dead.

California needs to remember that poison is in the portion. EVERYTHING is poisons in the right quantity. A warning label can be useful, when not slapped on every surface that it can physically bond to.

Warning! This cliff is known to the state of California to cause plummeting, falling and smassing of bones. Gravity in effect at edge of cliff face! Short term exposure to gravity can cause serious injury.

Re:!Carginogen (4, Funny)

cecil_turtle (820519) | about 6 years ago | (#24729797)

I wonder what will happen if they find the cancer warning labels can cause cancer.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 6 years ago | (#24729811)

A color coded system might do consumers well. No color==mostly OK. Green==Don't eat a bunch of this, it's not good for you. Yellow==Take care when using this, ventilation is a good idea and long term exposure is probably going to hurt you. Red==For the love of all that is holly, wear a respirator or leave it for the pros. Black==if you are reading this, you're already dead.

Very good idea. Heck, for the red/black we already have a few symbols for(HAZMAT). It'd be nice to know that Paint A is considered 50% more dangerous than Paint B over the current cancer warning on both because of California law.

Anybody stupid enough to _eat_ a playstation pretty much deserves what they get, and a recycle symbol on fluorescent lights might not be bad.

Cans of brake cleaner, motor oil, some paints deserve hazardous material warnings far more than playstations, computers, window cleaner, etc...

Re:!Carginogen (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 years ago | (#24729705)

I'm sorry, but this is the sort of stuff that makes people think that the greenies just want to send us back to the stone age.

What, are you CRAZY! Stones are minerals and asbestos is a mineral! We MUST return to BEFORE the stone age if we're to be safe. Please report to the devolver immediately!

Re:!Carginogen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729719)

Lead solder in your PS3 is a problem not because you drink out of it, but because in 10 years when you're done with it where does it go? Land fill? What happens if the landfill lining fails? Water from the landfill with your PS3's solder in it leached into the ground, perhaps the water supply. The problem is there's 10000 other PS3s and other crap in it. The problem isn't the Pb or whatever it a state that currently mostly inert. The problem is what happens when the material gets out of the envelope when there are zero assurances that it will stay with in it. If you work in a facility that manufactures LEDs who much dust is there, where does it collect, and how is it dealt with, and by whom? LEDs are very durable, not indestructable. Where do they break, how much debrie does that create. It's complicated. If things are toxic in small concentrations, figuring out a lifetimes likelyhood of exposure create a wide and expensive cloud of risk.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 6 years ago | (#24729805)

Lead solder in your PS3 is a problem not because you drink out of it, but because in 10 years when you're done with it where does it go? Land fill?

As opposed to PS3s (and indeed everything else) soldered with "lead-free solder", which will be in a landfill in a year's time.

Now there's a belter of a scam - insist on "lead-free solder" because lead is so dangerous and toxic and horrible, and require the use of a substitute that decomposes and fails within a matter of months (go and look up "tin whiskers". Yes, there's a reason why solder has lead in it). It's almost like they planned these things to break down...

Re:!Carginogen (1)

Btarlinian (922732) | about 6 years ago | (#24729757)

I agree with most of your points. But the main motivation behind lead-free solder is not the protection of the hardware user. The lead is a concern when we dispose of the hardware though, when the heavy metals can leach into groundwater, poisoning aquifers and the like.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 6 years ago | (#24730017)

Then you sort out and recycle the electronics stuff.

As for the dump leaching into groundwater - modern dumps are designed to prevent that, and lead doesn't leech that much.

You have to balance this against the tendency for lead free solders to fail sooner - resulting in the WHOLE item in the dump, more often than not.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

UltraAyla (828879) | about 6 years ago | (#24729783)

California bans** incandescent light bulbs

Not true, even in the future - it hasn't even been introduced. This was a proposal a year and a half ago that wasn't even voted on and died.

I'm sorry, but this is the sort of stuff that makes people think that the greenies just want to send us back to the stone age.

It's a notification, not a regulation - there is no regression involved. It simply informs people. If you don't like it, ignore the signs. They aren't that bad.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

Leto-II (1509) | about 6 years ago | (#24729905)

It's a notification, not a regulation - there is no regression involved. It simply informs people. If you don't like it, ignore the signs. They aren't that bad.

Therein lies the problem. They are crying wolf too much. And your solution, and probably nearly everyone else's solution, is to now ignore all the warning signs---including some that probably shouldn't be ignored.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

UltraAyla (828879) | about 6 years ago | (#24730063)

I don't ignore them, personally, but I'm not complaining about them. That was merely a suggestion for those who hate seeing them everywhere. In general, I make an educated guess about whether I feel a situation poses a true threat. This may be hard to do in some instances, but it's better than not having the signs at all, IMO.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 6 years ago | (#24729801)

Apple seeds contain a poison/carcinogen. Yet, in order to have a risk of getting cancer from it along the lines of winning the lottery - you'd have to practically eat your body mass in seeds.

That's not correct. Half a coffeecup of apple seeds will, in fact, cause the death of an adult human. They do have to be ingested fresh (that is, soon after removed from the fruit).
Apple seeds have been "recommended" by some suicide websites, as an effective an easily accessible poison.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

Detritus (11846) | about 6 years ago | (#24730053)

That's because of the cyanide, not because of some ultra-fast acting carcinogen.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 6 years ago | (#24730041)

I think that this is more or less the point. California has lost sight of 'risk management' in favor of 'risk avoidance'.

Just to be clear, the law requiring the signs was not passed by the California legislature. It was passed by popular referendum [wikipedia.org] .

What california should do is set a standard - only the more dangerous cancer causing substances such as cigarettes and asbestos get the warning.

That's the way it used to be. But people kept saying the standards were too lax, or that a danger existed which wasn't yet covered by the standards and regulations. I like to think Prop 65 was a response to all those OMG! DMHO can kill you! [dhmo.org] scares. If everything had a label, then nobody could complain that something wasn't labeled, and we could just ignore those twits and get on with our lives.

Re:!Carginogen (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 6 years ago | (#24729663)

Car-gin-ogen... Sounds like drunk driving... Imagine the hangover..

Seriously though, these substances are in small quantities in sealed plastic containers. I am not a material scientist, but I don't see the containers breaking/disintergrating easily, so whats the problem? Just need to look at safety in manufacturing. heck, even these "energy saver" bulbs are full of mercury which we know to be highly poisonous. And they break easily.

typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729323)

typo in your title

o rly? (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 6 years ago | (#24729351)

According to the media, everything causes and cures cancer [today.com] .

Re:o rly? (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 6 years ago | (#24729379)

By which I particularly mean, the bloody awful media coverage of science [badscience.net] .

And did you see that list? Nitrous oxide is on there. WTF? Whipped cream causes cancer, then?

Funding? (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | about 6 years ago | (#24729385)

I'd love to see if the CFL industry had anything to do with the funding of this study. Seeing as CFLs are only here temporarily until LEDs take hold.

And CFL has mercury in it... evil mercury... When was the last time an LED split open spreading gallium arsenide all over the place?

Re:Funding? (1)

niiler (716140) | about 6 years ago | (#24729507)

Bingo. And check this out about tungsten, you know, the stuff used in filaments of incandescent bulbs:

Biologic results also identified tungsten as a potentially unique exposure within Churchill County. We are working with NSHD to further define tungsten exposure in Nevada and to evaluate potential routes of exposure. Because of our study findings, the National Institutes of Health is considering tungsten as a priority chemical for toxicologic research.

From: CDC [cdc.gov] .

To be fair, it says that this needs more study, but there is a weak link to leukemia. The bottom line is that just about everything can cause cancer if applied to the correct body part in the correct dosage. If gallium arsenide doesn't leach out of LEDs, it seems that the production and disposal are critical, but consumers may be relatively safe.

Re:Funding? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 years ago | (#24729721)

And CFL has mercury in it... evil mercury

So the solution is a certified lead and gallium arsenide free mercury program!

oh gy cod, me wight met gancer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729391)

and then there was spellcheck.....

Agenda based FUD (1)

xzvf (924443) | about 6 years ago | (#24729399)

When will we get past stuff like this? LED's cause cancer. Cell phones cause cancer. Nuclear power plants are dangerous. Is there a strange group out there that wants to go back to a tribal hunter/gatherer type existence? Take our population down to a couple of million?

Re:Agenda based FUD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729439)

Is there a strange group out there that wants to go back to a tribal hunter/gatherer type existence? Take our population down to a couple of million?

Yes.

Re:Agenda based FUD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729473)

Yes. They are called Sierra Club, Greenpeace, PETA.. its all about voluntary human extinction with them now, not just conservation or environmental awareness.

Re:Agenda based FUD (1)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#24729619)

"Is there a strange group out there that wants to go back to a tribal hunter/gatherer type existence?"

Yes, and they mainly live in Berkley - that's why you always hear this stuff coming out of California first.

Re:Agenda based FUD (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24729717)

Is there a strange group out there that wants to go back to a tribal hunter/gatherer type existence? Take our population down to a couple of million?

Yes, they are called environmentalists.

Re:Agenda based FUD (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 years ago | (#24729733)

Sorry, hunting and gathering cause cancer.

CFLs (3, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 6 years ago | (#24729407)

CFLs cause cancer too. As technology uses more advanced chemistry (and the ability of medical technology to determent the carcinogenic properties of more materials) we can only find more dangers in the technology we use everyday.

The important thing to do is to educate everyone that some materials need to be treated with care. And should not be ingested or inhaled. And should be disposed of immediately if they are damaged or broken. In addition disposable of all possibly toxic materials needs to handled specially. And if we're going to have CFLs, CRTs, LEDs, and other three letter acronyms in our households, then each and every one of us needs to be educated on what needs to be taken through a special technology disposable/recycling process.

Here's a list of things people throw in the garbage that they should not have: rechargeable batteries, fluorescent lights, TV tubes(lead), car batteries(these are normally exchanged), used motor oil, appliances, electronics, ...

ideally you should only be throwing out old food, soiled paper/cardboard, plastic. and recycling glass and non-toxic metals(steel, aluminum). you can try and recycle plastic too, but it is debatable.

In other news, living has been shown .... (5, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24729437)

to cause cancer and everything associated with living. As a result, the California legislature has required that signs be posted every where that states, "Living causes cancer. To limit your risk, stop living."

Re:In other news, living has been shown .... (2, Funny)

wik (10258) | about 6 years ago | (#24729481)

You wouldn't believe how many problems this would fix in CA.

You must not have walked across the goldengate... (1)

Tmack (593755) | about 6 years ago | (#24729871)

It seems a lot of people have already figured it out [wikipedia.org] . Caltrain/AmTrak comes in at a distant second.

It seems there are groups supporting Cancer though: notice the signs and suicide helpline phones posted every hundred feet or so along the bridge and train tracks. There also seems to be a strong contingent that wants to force it to continue to grow by making suicide impossible [pfnc.org] !

Tm

Breathing.... (1)

gmac63 (12603) | about 6 years ago | (#24729447)

Takes on a whole new twist if you substitute "breathing" for Gallium Arsenide...

Reader LM741N, pointing to a report released this month by California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, writes "Breathing has now been listed as a carcinogen. Given the increasing usage of breathing, the main constituent in life, and their recent championing as more efficient life sources in recent news stories and Slashdot, there may be significant environmental concerns as related to breathing. Morover, workers in industries where breathing exists may be at risk of cancer as well."

Re:Breathing.... (1)

Eudial (590661) | about 6 years ago | (#24729735)

Takes on a whole new twist if you substitute "breathing" for Gallium Arsenide...

It works pretty well if you substitute Gallium Arsenide for it's molecular formula GaAs too.

it's ok (1)

extirpater (132500) | about 6 years ago | (#24729509)

expensive power bills make cancer too, so i prefer leds. at least they look elegant.

It's also used in solar cells (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about 6 years ago | (#24729573)

This could be a major stumbling block for the solar panel industry. Also, maybe someone with more experience could comment, but I thought that GaAs was considered to be a possible replacement for silicon in chips in the future.

Re:It's also used in solar cells (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24729795)

This could be a major stumbling block for California .

There, fixed it for you. Everyone knows that 75% of the people in charge in California are insane, the rest of the US couldn't care if it could possibly contain cancer causing substances becuase the rest of the world knows not to care about California's labels.

Maybe the ARSENIC was a clue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24729617)

Stupid hillbillies, what did they think when they ate all that GaS?

Omnomnom (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | about 6 years ago | (#24729651)

Drat, what am I going to eat now? In light of this news, I am going to have to remove LED's from my diet. And they are so tasty. On a side note, a LOT of chemicals used to manufacture things are highly poisonous. But this is generally only a danger to those doing the manufacturing, and only if they don't take proper precautions.

Umm.. (4, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | about 6 years ago | (#24729701)

Isn't one of the main advantages of LEDs the fact that you almost never need to replace them, which means (in theory) that they will rarely be discarded? And if they are rarely discarded, then isn't the disposal issue a moot point?

Who would have thought Arsenic was bad for you? (2, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | about 6 years ago | (#24729743)

Who would have thought that a simple natural element such as Arsenic could be bad for you?

But they haven't warned about gallium arsenide phosphide so the yellow, orange, and red LEDs must be safe.

OMGZ! (0, Troll)

T3Tech (1306739) | about 6 years ago | (#24729837)

Carcinogen != causes cancer

But hey, the theory of metastasis is still used as a justification for chemotherapy so why argue semantics?

Worse than mercury? (1)

eagl (86459) | about 6 years ago | (#24729843)

Is that stuff worse than the mercury found in CFLs? Does it escape as easily (ie if you drop it, does it contaminate the area)? Or is this just something that suppliers manufacturers need to worry about to limit worker exposure?

Conspiracy theorists will say that it's the CFL makers who pushed this while marketing thin glass tubes full of mercury vapor as a consumer-safe product... I can't say I've ever seen an LED that's been smashed but I've had a number of CFL bulbs break, which apparently turns the site into a toxic hazard zone.

OLED (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | about 6 years ago | (#24729901)

Okay, but I thought we were shifting over to OLED's some time in the near-future. Does this apply to them as well?

California? (1)

findingmaemo (1350519) | about 6 years ago | (#24729951)

I thought they only had IED's in Iraq and Afganistan! Seriously, I don't think an IED is something a terrorist would sit on long enough to have colon cancer.

You know this, but I have to remind you once again (1)

yuri82 (236251) | about 6 years ago | (#24729973)

Anything that is too concentrated. Any exaggeration. Do it too much and...

You will get fucked up. Sugar, vegetables, meat, rice, asbestos, alcohol, weed, glue, stamps, chewing gum...

It should be obvious by now. It is. You are just too friggin stubborn.

So Cal Idiot Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730033)

I live in Southern California. The elderly man who owns my apartment building was warned that he would face huge fines and penalties if he didn't immediately post warning signs all over the property. The threatened fines were huge and out of proportion with reality. The culprits were personal barbecues and the laundry room. Lint kills.

The same state-issued morons also declared our community pool to be a health hazard, and the property owner spent almost $20k replacing old tile, adding extra signs that warned there was no lifeguard, resurfacing the pool, installing an automatic chlorine system (which put the pool man out of a job) and having everything repainted so there were shallow and deep water markers.

All of this work kept the pool locked for an entire summer - the government goons even put their own padlock on the gate.

I saw this label on a drain basket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730045)

I was shopping for a replacement drain basket. I walk into my local home depot (I live in Indiana) I goto the right area and see the universal baskets. All of them had the CA warning about causing cancer. The baskets were made of metal and a rubber gasket to stop the water from flowing down the drain. That's it.

Don't get me wrong. I love that things that contain toxins are now be labeled as so, but now that everything has that label it has become meaningless. CA should have posted that in 2010 anything that toxins (and provide a list of what CA considers a toxin) in it will have a label on it so companies can switch materials. There is no reason that a drain basket should have any toxins in it.

Just my opinion.

The emerging LED technology is GaN-based (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24730049)

I just wanted to point out that while many LED's are GaAs-based, most of the newer LED's that are starting to be used to replace things like traffic lights and light bulbs are GaN-based. No arsenic involved. Very non-toxic. In theory, your kid could eat several of the dies and be okay.

lol (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 6 years ago | (#24730077)

So what? Living has been known to the Republic of California to cause cancer. (Genetic pre-disposition)
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