21 August 2008

least toxic cellphones

[Image: Chris Jordan]

Ours is a gadget filled society. Cellphones, PDAs, MP3 players, portable video game consoles, book readers, GPS devices, portable satellite radios, blah blah blah.

And in all of those devices lie lots of little components, many of them hazardous, known to release persistent bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs). According to the EPA,

PBTs are chemicals and/or pollutants that:
  1. Remain in the environment for a long time (persist) without breaking down
  2. Accumulate in the environment and build up in the tissues of humans, fish, and animals (bioaccumulative)
  3. Are toxic (causing cancer and other health problems) to living organisms, including humans

Now, don't panic. I'm not proposing you hand over all of your electronic possessions to the next guy you see in a hazmat suit. These toxins are not leaching out of your gadgets while you use them -- that's something that happens once they reach the landfill. And the way people burn through devices these days, it's no wonder trash heaps everywhere are filled with toxic waste.

So what is one supposed to do?

Buy green
Thankfully, makers of electronics are starting to make less toxic products. Here's a roundup of the greenest cellphones [thanks to MetaEfficient]:

Sony Ericsson T650i
Features: energy efficient charger (24% more efficient than Energy Star standards); PVC-, phthalate-, beryllium-, and brominated-flame-retardant-free

Nokia N95
Features: PVC-, phthalate-, and brominated-flame-retardant-free; battery price is low to encourage replacement of battery rather than entire phone

Nokia 3310 Evolve
Features: highly energy efficient charger (exceeds Energy Star standards by 94%); outer cover made from over 50% renewable materials (bio-sourced); currently available in Europe only

Sony Ericsson P1i
Features: PVC-, phthalate-, beryllium-, and brominated-flame-retardant-free
Read the whole green cell phone post at MetaEfficient.

Recycle, dammit!
Do you really need a new cellphone/iPod/PDA? If it's time to trade in your old broken cellphone for a fancy new green phone, be sure to recycle. Here are just a few e-waste recycling and cellphone donation programs:
Find electronics recycling where you live:

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