Mobile phones less toxic, research finds

2012-10-04 08:25

Washington - Mobile phone manufacturers, responding to consumer and regulatory pressure, are using fewer toxic substances in their products, researchers in the US said.

The Motorola Citrus, Apple iPhone 4S and LE Remarq emerged as the least toxic cellphones in a study of 36 different models that have come onto the market during the past five years, the Michigan-based Ecology Centre said.

The newly released iPhone 5 ranked fifth, and its arch rival Samsung Galaxy S III ninth, while the iPhone 2G - the first in the top-selling smartphone series, released in 2007 - was found to contain the most toxic materials.

"The takeaway is that mobile phones are chemically intensive, and full of chemical hazards, but they've been getting a lot better," Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Centre, said in a telephone interview.

In a statement, the Ecology Centre explained that "every phone sampled in this study contained at least one of following hazardous chemicals: Lead, bromine, chlorine, mercury and cadmium".

Such dangerous substances can pollute at any stage of a product's life cycle, from the moment they are extracted from the ground to the time a cellphone is assembled and the day it is thrown out, it said.

"Consumer interest in healthier products is driving companies to design and produce healthier products," said Gearhart, who also cited tougher controls in Europe and Asia over the hazardous materials used in consumer electronics.

The Ecology Centre - which posted its findings on its website - has previously looked into the extent of toxins in automobiles, children's car seats, jewellery, garden hoses and Halloween products.

  • Alan - 2012-10-04 10:40

    Who is going to eat a cellphone????

      mbonyathi - 2012-10-04 11:03

      i wonder as well...Lolest

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-04 11:47

    Whahahaha chlorine!!! Chlorine is not only used in swimming pools it is also used to purify drinking water so what is the big deal?

      rob.gunning.1 - 2012-10-04 13:06

      The big deal is that, in the 1970s, scientists discovered that when chlorine is added to water, it forms Trihalomethanes (THMs), one of which is chloroform. THMs increase the production of free radicals in the body and are highly carcinogenic (cancer causing)

      rob.gunning.1 - 2012-10-04 13:06

      Chlorine and THMS have been linked to various types of cancer, kidney and liver damage, immune system dysfunction, disorders of the nervous system, hardening of the arteries, and birth defects.

      rob.gunning.1 - 2012-10-04 13:08

      I could go on but I'll leave you with this... "Cancer risk among people using chlorinated water is as much as 93 percent higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine,” according to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality

  • dries.vanaswegen.5 - 2012-10-04 14:08

    The problem for people isn't the materials but the Hz influence on our body mechanics. It has been proven since the 1950's in Russia that these decoding signals (used in todays cellphones) wreak havoc on organs. You can read up more about it here:

      rob.gunning.1 - 2012-10-05 13:39

      lol! now thats comedy.

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