Mobile phones contain valuable metals and plastics that can be reused for various purposes. When disposed off in the environment or landfill, these materials impose negative effects on the surroundings and are responsible to pollute the air, soil and drinking water. So, does anyone wonder what it takes to avoid leaving hazardous impact over the environment from such materials? And what are the factors behind short term usage of mobile phones that usually cause users to abandon the old ones and go for a better and advanced version? There are numerous parts of cell phones that contain dangerous materials like lithium, arsenic, copper, lead, cadmium, mercury and zinc that tend to have varied impact over human and the atmosphere. These substances are usually drained on the landfill, get absorbed into the ground and tend to pollute the soil, which in turn do not yield productive outcomes, especially when it comes to growing healthy crops and providing a better environment to live in. Metals usually combine with the crops and when consume by human, they are responsible to cause different health problems.
How Environment suffers due to mobile phones?
Manufacturing a cell phone is expected to discharge almost 16kg of CO2, which is exactly the same as that of 1 kg of hamburger. However, when the device keeps on consuming power for two years, the figure rises to 22 kg, which is actually a significant amount any mobile phone could use.
Apart from this, there are numerous negative environmental impact of mobile phones that every individual should take into consideration. Remember that each aspect needs separate attention and mobile phones users do not only have to think about themselves but, they also have to take such measures that can lift up the surroundings as well.
- Radio Frequency Radiations: Based on their nature and purpose of use, mobile phones are the primary source of having radiations in the surroundings that may go worse when their batteries are almost dead. Even, there are frequency radiations when users send or receive voice and instant messages. According to some studies, these radiations are dangerous for the brain and may cause salivary tumors if the users remain in contact for a long time period. Radio frequency radiations are among the most dangerous environmental impact of mobile phones because they affect overall wellbeing of individuals.
- Toxic influence over humans: The Environmental Protection Agency additionally takes note of the natural dangers caused by disposed off mobile phone parts. Lead present in the body may combine with the air or groundwater to create troubles in the human bones. It may create problems for the immune system or nervous system and cause them to work improperly. Even, toxins can have negative effects over the kidneys, liver and cardiovascular system as well. Even, the substances are capable to cause disturbance during pregnancy while may harm the baby in terms of slow growth or low IQ over time.
- Toxic Batteries: Standard batteries are fundamentally made out of lead plates and sulfuric mixture that are hazardous for the surroundings. Nickel-cadmium is a typical base for rechargeable mobile phone batteries that do not easily dispose off, unlike other batteries that have different substances. Nickel-cadmium batteries are not required to be land-filled because cadmium has the ability to dissolve into the groundwater. Nickelmetal-hydride batteries are another form of dangerous batteries that need to go through an efficient recycling process in order to avoid negative effects. Remember that the environmental impact of mobile phones do not have to be devastating as otherwise, humans would always have to struggle in maintaining their health.
- Recycling Emission: Mobile phones users always have to keep in mind that these electronic gadgets are not something they can simply through in the trash bin; instead, they have to be treated in a different way. While talking about how to get rid of old cellphones, environmental specialists used to discuss special procedures and equipment that recycle their parts and make sure that nothing is left untreated. There is a significant amount of energy involved in the process that asks for attention and needs the users to understand that small carelessness can cause huge damages to the atmosphere.
- Fire: Needless to say, fire is another worth considering environmental impact of mobile phones. Lithium batteries have generally safer chemical composition, however, if not dealt with care, they may be the biggest fire risk when disposed. Most of the mobile phone batteries are vulnerable to bursting if their terminals connect with each other in the wrong way. Nowadays, recycling programs need people to pay more attention than before because the manufacturers are now using more advanced chemicals.
Tips to avoid negative impact of mobile phones
So, in order to minimize the hazardous environmental impact of mobile phones, experts have listed some pro tips that every mobile phone user has to follow. Realizing their duties towards the society, they have to do these things:
- Activate the airplane mode at night to save the battery.
- Prevent the mobile phones from exposure to high temperatures. Even, while on charging, the key is to remove the casing so that surrounding air can keep the phone safe from overheating.
- Don’t go for repair, just get a new battery.
- Don’t change mobile phones frequently; instead, extend their useful life as long as possible as it would decrease hazardous environmental impact of mobile phones.
Be that as it may, not only dumping of cell phones is unsafe for the earth but introduction of new cell phones is also adding dangers and problems to the surroundings. One of the visible effects is present in the form of disturbed climate that is the result of damaged ozone layer.
What should be done?
Being an individual, it’s everybody’s duty to pay attention on different ways to save the environment and help the ozone layer to prevent the world from extreme temperatures. Normally, there are two important ways to avoid dangerous environmental impact of mobile phones. Let’s have a look at them:
Reduce: Be a wise thinker and think twice before spending money on purchasing a new phone when the old one is still in good condition.
Reuse: Numerous individuals are searching for simple cell phones so, if someone upgrades to a new version, it’s recommended to give it to a person who is in need.