Hazardous Waste at Fender Instruments Hits a Sour Note

Fender Acoustic Guitar Strings and Label Photo

Image via: Mercury State on Flickr.com
Fender Musical Instruments Corp and Goodrich Aerostructures Group were both fined by the US Environmental Protection Agency for improper storage and handling of hazardous waste. Yuck! How do you make sure your axe can grind with the best? We've got a few tips to help you out.In total, Fender received fines of $78,861 and Goodrich was fined $66,500 for several charges related to their improper storage and handling of hazardous wastes on their property. During a routine inspection of each facility in 2008, EPA inspectors found evidence of the following at Fender:

- hazardous waste stored without a permit;
- failure to provide adequate aisle space for hazardous waste storage containers;
- failure to inspect hazardous waste storage areas;
- failure to close hazardous waste storage containers;
- failure to provide required personnel training; and
- failure to determine if wastes generated were hazardous.

Goodrich didn't have quite as many violations, but was still guilty of:

- storing hazardous waste for more than 90 days without a permit;
- storing hazardous waste in improperly labeled containers; and
- failure to properly manage satellite and storage containers.

Both facilities are located just east of Los Angeles (Fender in Corona, CA and Goodrich in Riverside, CA). The hazardous waste reported in both cases was corrosive and paint waste generated during manufacturing, which include solvents and chromium. The EPA reports that both facilities are working on repairing the situation.

While guitars might seem pretty innocuous - just take some wood, cut it into a guitar shape, pull some strings tight over wooden frets and you're ready to rock. But actually, guitars go through quite a bit of shellacking and coating before they hit the stage, which often involve nasty chemicals. Sting created a certified wood limited edition guitar so rockers would know they weren't cutting down the rainforest for their very own axe. Can't afford a limited edition guitar by Sting? Don't worry, Planet Green has a few tips on green guitars so you can make sure your next six-string is hitting all the right notes.

More on Green Guitars
Green Your Guitars
Wind-Powered Electric Guitars?
4 Ways to Reuse Your Guitar Picks
6 Reasons to Buy a Used Guitar
Make Your Own Guitar Fretboard Cleaner and Polisher

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