I have been reading iFixit for many years, and love their content. They published a really interesting article this week which details a breakdown on a range of mobile phones, and just what exactly they contain, on a chemical level.
These high tech devices may look sharp and ‘clean’ but under the surface you may be horrified to find out what is inside.
iFixit’s Kyle Wiens wrote on the company blog “It’s easy to forget that toxic chemicals also lurk behind your phone’s smooth face and behind your computer’s keyboard, Yet lurk they do.”
These devices often contain flame retardants such as PVC, Bromine and heavy metals like lead, mercury, calcium, tin and chromium.
Wiens adds “The list is long and rightfully intimidating. These are not things we want in our water or air.”
It sounds quite scary when our ears are pressed against them for so many hours a day.
It is no shock to learn that these materials and chemicals are hidden from public view by companies. Why would it be in their best interest to let you know of all the chemicals you are handling?
Wiens does add however that in general the results are quite positive, newer phones are made from fewer hazardous chemicals, though some of them still contain toxins.
The smartphones were subjected to X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to analyse their chemical composition. They were then rated on a scale of zero (the best) to five (the worst).
The scores of the phones are interesting. The iPhone 2G gets the worst score, although the processes have clearly been improved with the newer models, as the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 score very well. Apple have reduced their toxic chemical content which is good to see, although im sure people who are still using the iPhone 2G won’t be happy to read this.
Many smartphone manufacturers are reducing their toxic content over recent years. Wiens said “There is a trend of less toxics over time, That’s good, but it’s not good enough.”
You can read more about this, over here.