Scary stats – what throwing ‘away’ can mean for end-users of redundant mobile devices

Reading about the material composition of mobile devices, it’s fairly obvious that a vast quantity of harmful stuff is being ditched as phones and other assistive mobile technologies are being replaced with newer models. 

So what’s in a mobile phone (courtesy Cécile Marin)?  

So what’s truly nasty in a phone (courtesy

And expect loads more to come –  with 1.9 billion phones expected to be sold in 2013, the current projection is that some 2.9 billion new assistive devices will be sold in 2017.  Which means that  e-waste – intricate mixtures of plastics, metals and chemicals – which can be harmful to people and the environment if not handled properly, will also increase in astronomical volumes.  

In developing countries where e-waste is poorly regulated, and generally dismantled and recycled by hand, harmful chemicals and plastics are introduced into the environment via water, air and soil. Workers who dismantle and burn e-waste to retrieve valuable metals and other materials are exposed to harmful chemicals such as heavy metals and inorganic acids, which have the potential for long-term and serious health risks.  

Check the findings of this report…for an e-waste site in Accra, Ghana.  Very scary stuff.


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Posted in #eLA13, #eLA2013, #Idlelo6, africa, carbon footprint, education, EduNet Namibia, eReader, FOSSFA, ICT4D, Ict4e, innovation, library, mobile learning, Negroponte, smartphones, solar power, tablets

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