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General Health : Environment Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM


How Green is Your Cell Phone?
By Organic Consumers Association
Oct 29, 2008 - 10:49:02 AM

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In response to last week's email, many readers wrote back with concerns and questions similar to the following:

Email from reader: "I know that most people use cell phones, and I appreciate the OCA looking for the best companies to purchase such a service, but I have a couple concerns. First of all, I have read that cell phones can cause brain tumors. Secondly, I hear there are environmental and child labor issues related to coltan mining for cell phones.

Response from the OCA: Thanks for sharing your concerns. You are correct, the electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones are likely problematic if the phone is used inappropriately. In Organic Bytes #141, we discuss this issue in detail and provide tips for reducing exposure. The most important health precaution is to keep cell phones away from children and for adults to get in the habit of using an ear piece or speaker phone and not putting the phone directly to your head. As for the coltan mining issue, the OCA has deep concerns about what is happening in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 60% of coltan is mined. Because of its ability to hold high electric charges, coltan is used in cellular phones, computers, jet engines, missiles, ships, and weapons systems. Without coltan the digital age would not exist. Having said that, the electronic industry (and consumers) have done a horrible job recycling this precious substance. You can recycle your old phones here.
 




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