Regarding appliances made 20 years ago, weights were significantly higher. For example, the large cabinet washing machines made by EHP in the 80's weighed over 100kg, and contained several litres of oil in the gearbox. Current gearbox driven machines have .07 litres of oil and are progressively being replaced with direct drives.
2. Many materials once considered benign, have subsequently been identified as hazardous and either eliminated or reduced in EHP products.