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Safer Cells

Mobile Phones Becoming Less Toxic

The Ecology Center, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in conjunction with technicians at, has published a list of toxic chemicals found in 36 cell phones from a range of manufacturers. The good news is that companies are responding to consumer and regulatory pressure and these troublesome components are on the decline.

The Motorola Citrus, Apple iPhone 4S and LE Remarq were the least toxic cell phones in the analysis. Two of the bestselling models, the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III, ranked fifth and ninth, respectively. Among earlier models, the 2007 iPhone 2G was found to contain the most toxic materials.

Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center, concludes, “The takeaway is that mobile phones are chemically intensive and full of chemical hazards, but they’ve been getting a lot better.” The center reported that every phone sampled in the study contained lead, bromine, chlorine, mercury or cadmium.


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