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: The next big breakthrough in robotics

Related Stories

The next big breakthrough in robotics

January 24, 2018

While drones and driverless cars dominate the headlines, another breakthrough—robot dexterity—is likely to have an even greater impact in both business and everyday life.

GE Global Research works on RFID tag for detecting explosives

February 17, 2015

Tech sites are talking about an explosives detector the size of a postage stamp. This is a wireless RFID (radio-frequency identification) sensor tag, battery-free. The tags are specially capable of chemical sensing. The company ...

Recommended for you

'Chameleon' ocean bacteria can shift their colors

February 21, 2018

Cyanobacteria - which propel the ocean engine and help sustain marine life - can shift their colour like chameleons to match different coloured light across the world's seas, according to research by an international collaboration ...

New study brings Antarctic ice loss into sharper focus

February 21, 2018

A NASA study based on an innovative technique for crunching torrents of satellite data provides the clearest picture yet of changes in Antarctic ice flow into the ocean. The findings confirm accelerating ice losses from the ...

Stable gas hydrates can trigger landslides

February 21, 2018

Like avalanches onshore,many processes cause submarine landslides. One very widespread assumption is that they are associated with dissociating gas hydrates in the seafloor. However, scientists at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre ...

0 comments

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.