Our addiction to smartphones, tablets and laptops is causing environmental degradation and health tragedies in communities all over the world. This is revealed in the recent documentary Death by Design, created by filmmaker Sue Williams. She traveled from China, to towns across America, to Ireland and Germany to investigate the dark side of the rapidly growing consumption of electronic devices.

Death by Design was recently screened at the Boston Environmental Film Festival, where four films on different environmental films were screened followed by Q&A sessions with filmmakers and experts. Ted Smith and Amanda Hawes, from the International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT), participated in the discussion following the screening.

To coincide with the documentary screening, ICRT and GoodElectronics launched a petition urging tech brands to implement the Challenge to the Electronics Industry. The petition highlights the story of Yvette Flores, whose story is featured in the film. She was working at an electronics plant in Silicon Valley while pregnant. The toxic lead oxide to which she was exposed caused her son to be born with severe developmental disabilities. Yvette has since become an advocate for safer and more sustainable electronics manufacturing processes.

The petition urges all electronics brands, manufacturers and suppliers to:

  • Be transparent.
  • Use safer chemicals and components.
  • Protect workers, communities and the environment.
  • Compensate and remediate harm done to people and the environment
Information about upcoming screenings of Death by Design is available on the film’s official website.