Update: An earlier version of this copy appeared with the title, Hazard alert: iPhone 5 a little more toxic than Galaxy S III which was wrong. The iPhone 5 is ranked higher signifying that the S III was more toxic. We’ve corrected it in the copy now and apologise for the error.
A new study by the Ecology Center and the iFixit team, have shown that the new iPhone 5 is a little more environment friendly than the Samsung Galaxy S III.
The report which looked at the toxic chemicals in 36 different cellphones has stated that Motorola Citrus is the least toxic phone followed by the iPhone 4 S and the LG Remarq. You can check out more here and here.
The new iPhone 5 is number five on the list of toxic smartphones while rival Samsung Galaxy S III is at number nine. iPhone 5 has an average rating of 2.75, when it comes to toxicity (the highest being 5.0 and the lowest being 0).
And the most toxic smartphone of all time is? Apple’s innovation, the original iPhone 2G which was launched in 2007.
So what are the toxic elements that these device contain? Nearly every phone had at least one of following hazardous chemicals, says the study. These are lead, bromine, chlorine, mercury and cadmium.
The report also says that these substances pollute right from the extraction process, while the product is used, and even at the end of the device’s useful life.
“Even the best phones from our study are still loaded with chemical hazards,” said Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org. “These chemicals, which are linked to birth defects, impaired learning and other serious health problems, have been found in soils at levels 10 to 100 times higher than background levels at e-waste recycling sites in China. We need better federal regulation of these chemicals, and we need to create incentives for the design of greener consumer electronics.”
The question of how to tackle e-waste is one that the world is facing at large, especially as users rush to upgrade smartphones, tablets, etc every year when the new model comes.
However its not all bad, as the study pointed out that newer phones are better than older phones and that chemical hazards in devices have gone down. The report says that product ratings have improved by 33 percent since 2007.
It also said that Apple has shown the greatest improvement since the original iPhone with the iPhone 4S and 5 showing less use of toxic materials. It seems that manufacturers are showing a greater inclination to use less toxic materials.
The report also highlighted that on an average Samsung’s score was a little on the higher side if all its smartphones are taken into account. For instance the South-Korean firm’s Captivate, Evergreen, and Reclaim has the best ratings while the SCH-U410, received a poor score of 4.18.