Study: Cell phones are hazardous waste

April 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: High-tech vest would protect workers, rescue personnel from highway hazards

Related Stories

Maine to consider cell phone cancer warning

December 21, 2009

(AP) -- A Maine legislator wants to make the state the first to require cell phones to carry warnings that they can cause brain cancer, although there is no consensus among scientists that they do and industry leaders dispute ...

Recommended for you

Don't forget plankton in climate change models, says study

November 26, 2015

A new study from the University of Exeter, published in the journal Ecology Letters, found that phytoplankton - microscopic water-borne plants - can rapidly evolve tolerance to elevated water temperatures. Globally, phytoplankton ...

Can Paris pledges avert severe climate change?

November 26, 2015

More than 190 countries are meeting in Paris next week to create a durable framework for addressing climate change and to implement a process to reduce greenhouse gases over time. A key part of this agreement would be the ...


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.