Cell phones: Arsenic, mercury, and lead, oh my!

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People from all nations are jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon in unity to reduce the amount of volume we add to landfills from here on. Space is running out, and we all know existing landfills will not simply empty out so that we can refill them. For this very reason, we have also begun to pay more attention to the items of which we are tossing into the landfills. Many products and packaging units have been redesigned or manufactured to be biodegradable, and those which cannot be are recycled and reused.

The science of what to recycle and what to throw in the trash is not as convoluted as it appears. Essentially, it can be paralleled to medical studies. For example, doctors are now theorizing that consistent, cell phone-to-head contact may result in cancer. More specifically, the components of a cell phone when regularly coming in contact with your brain may result in tumors. Two safe assumptions can be made when these studies are announced. 1) Use the speakerphone function on your cellular device more often. 2) If it may cause cancer, it probably should not be absorbed into the Earth.

Cellular devices today are getting better and faster by the minute. Technology is a wonderful thing, but that does not mean it should be contaminating our landfills even further. Cell phones contain arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, and bromiated flame retardants. All of these toxic substances will leak out of the device and into the Earth when thrown into landfills. This will result in poisoning of the soil, water supply, vegetation, animals, and eventually humans.

Obviously, one cellular device in a pile of 40 million pizza boxes will not destroy the ground we walk on. But what if you found out that consumer electronics were accountable for 40 percent of the lead found in dumps today? According to WireFly.com, this is the case. They also report a number of states and members of the European Union who are passing laws regarding cell phone recycling. New York, as an example, now fines consumers for discarding of cellular batteries and providers for not having display signs describing their free recycling services.

The impact cell phones are making on the environment is substantial. To slow down these negative effects, sell your old phone to recycling centers, donate it to programs that provide cell phones for battered women’s shelters, or return it to your service provider. More often than not, cell phone service providers are excited to accept your device for refurbish and resell, or just to use the old parts. No matter which route you choose, you can be confident that your cell phone will not be the one adding mercury and lead into the ecosystem.

Marietta Recycling does not recycle cell phones..... but we encourage you to fine a center and donate!

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Supporting Our Troops
written by Chris, May 31, 2011
For those who would like to support our troops by donating your cell phones, here is a great place to start. http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/

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