Study: Cell phones are hazardous waste

Apr 11, 2007

U.S. scientists have determined cellular telephones consumers discard by the millions each year qualify as hazardous waste.

Oladele Ogunseitan and colleagues at the University of California-Irvine estimate more than 700 million cell phones have been discarded or are awaiting disposal, with 130 million cell phones trashed during 2005 alone.

The researchers analyzed chemicals in simulated cell phone "leachate" -- the liquid that runs into the soil from cell phones in dumps and landfills -- and said their findings have "profound implications" for the ultimate disposal of cell phones, the researchers said.

"These data demonstrate that electronics manufacturers who seek to design products exempt from current hazardous waste classifications will need to address not just lead, as the current wave of responses to European and Japanese regulations has shown, but also nickel, antimony and zinc, and, most importantly, copper content."

The research is reported in the April 1 issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Pact with devil? California farmers use oil firms' water

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

Jul 03, 2015

Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess—a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation ...

Cities, regions call for 'robust' world climate pact

Jul 03, 2015

Thousands of cities, provinces and states from around the world urged national governments on Thursday to deliver a "robust, binding, equitable and universal" planet-saving climate pact in December.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?

Jul 03, 2015

Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface ...

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

Jul 02, 2015

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.