Most mobile phones still contain high levels of toxic chemicals hazardous to health, finds study
Mobile phones still contain a large amount of toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and cadmium that are hazardous to health and may also be carcinogenic, a new study has revealed.
According to a study completed by HealthyStuff.org and ifixit.org, Motorola Circus was determined to be the least toxic phone in the market out of a test of 36 commonly sold mobile phones, with LG Remark, the iPhone 4S, the Samsung Captivate, the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Evergreen rounding off the top of the list as the 'least toxic phones'.
"Even the best phones from our study are still loaded with chemical hazards. These chemicals, which are linked to birth defects, impaired learning and other serious health problems, have been found in soils at levels 10 to 100 times higher than background levels at e-waste recycling sites in China," CBS News quoted Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, as saying.
The study found that overall, newer phones were less toxic than their older counterparts, but every phone tested still contained high levels of lead, bromine, chlorine, mercury and cadmium.
People may not experience risks from holding the phone itself, but once the phone become e-waste, the chemicals can get in the water and soil and potentially pose risks, such as inorganic mercury, which can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract, the nervous system, and the kidneys, the report said.
Samsung phones had the best average ratings of all the phones tested, while Apple showed the most improvement in removing toxic chemicals in their phones. The iPhone 2G was ranked the 'most toxic phone' in the study, but the iPhone 4S and 5 found themselves near the top of the least toxic list, the report added