EnviroApps Blogspot

Thursday, June 26, 2008

iPhone 3G and Environment

Cool iphone 3G is here:


The original iPhone, sold for $399 (1.4 million pieces were sold by October 2007), had flaws and already tech wizs are discussing in blogs to buy them by saying $199 seems very reasonable for 3G. Hopefully Apple will sell 2million 3G iphones because they are cheaper - $199.

So where will all these 1.4 million (at least half of it) original iphones will end up?

In the environment - loaded with:
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs),
Poly Vinyl Chlorides (PVCs),
along with traces of Lead, Cadmium and Mercury.

Environmental Information Management System (USEPA):
An abstract from USEPA
Effects of Brominated flame retardants (BFRs)
represent a large and diverse class of high volume industrial chemicals which have been developed to provide fire safety. There are many other BFRs which have been used and are under development.
Historically, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) were used but they were banned because of their persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity. Some of these are being detected in environmental samples. The three major BFRs in use today
are tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which involves three commercial mixtures, Penta, Octa, and the only one still in production, Deca. TBBPA is the largest
volume chemical and is used both as an additive and reactive flame retardant, primarily in electronics. It has moderate persistence, little bioaccumulation, and relatively low concern for toxicity, although it may have some endocrine
disrupting properties
. HBCD is also used in electronics, but is more persistent and bioaccumulative. Its isomeric composition changes as it undergoes fate, transport, and metabolism. It is found in increasing concentrations in wildlife and human samples, and there is growing concern for its potential toxicity. The PBDEs are also additive BFRs, but their properties and uses differ. Penta was used largely in polyurethane foam; Octa in office equipment; and Deca in polymers
for electronic equipment and textile backings. Increasing concentrations of PBDE congeners have been found in environmental samples, wildlife, and people. The congeneric profile in biota differs from that in the commercial mixtures.
The major pathways to human exposure are uncertain, although both dust and food are likely. Penta and Octa have been banned in Europe, and production withdrawn in the US, in part because of growing concern for their toxicity, including
enzyme induction, endocrine disruption, and developmental reproductive and neurotoxicity. Deca is the major use PBDE product worldwide. Recent studies have demonstrated that it can be broken down in the environment by light and microbes,
and metabolically in mammals. Some concerns for its toxicity, or that of its breakdown products, come from reports of its carcinogenicity in two year rodent studies and developmental neurotoxicity. Recently, it has been detected in wildlife and people.
Alternatives are being suggested and use. Questions remain about their safety, as well as that of the existing BFRs.

Poly Vinyl Chlorides (PVCs):

PVC is the number one use of chlorine world-wide.
Dioxins are chlorine based by-products of the production and disposal of chlorine compounds such as PVC plastics.
More than half of most PVC products are composed of chlorine.
Dioxins, furans, PCBs and HCB are all among the toxic accidental by-products of PVC production.
These POPs are also found in the emissions and ash of incinerators that burn PVC and other chlorinated wastes.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
dioxins travel thousands of miles by air and are deposited on the land concentrating in our food supply accounting for 90 percent of human exposure.
Dioxin contamination of humans occurs in two ways, near and far.
There is an abundance of credible data and independent studies on the harmful and unsustainable impacts of vinyl or PVC plastics.
PVC clearly threatens human health and the environment:
- contaminate the air, water and land,
- leaving residents with elevated levels of dioxin in their blood and workers and residents with serious illnesses.
Vinyl or PVC plastic requires more toxic additives than any other plastic including heavy metals (lead, cadmium, chromium and organotins) and
plasticizers such as phthalates, all of which are bio-available and put the health of vulnerable populations, such as children, at risk.
The disposal by incineration or accidental burning (including landfills fires) of vinyl products releases dioxin into the environment adding to the already dangerous levels that exist in human tissue.
Fortunately, there are many safer available substitutes for virtually all uses of vinyl.

Most of us know the effects of Lead, Cadmium and Mercury.

As excited as we are for Apple 3G iPhones, soon we may need more technological capabilities and upgrades. So these 2 million 3G iPhones will also be obsolete and dumped in the environment.

One Good news: Apple is also concerned for environment:

Apple Environment

Hopefully they will also spend some on proper recycling of the iPhones.

I am talking about only Apple iPhone . Think about other phones:

Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, etc......!!!
Their accessories such as chargers, car chargers, bluetooth, etc.....!!!

Cell Phone Article

Also ipod Nanos, Touches, Classics and Shuffles and its competitor products. These are also selling in millions.

Recently cell phone and cancer issues popped up again after Pittsburgh cancer institute research:
Environmental Oncology

Specific absorption rate (SAR) is a measure of the rate at which radio frequency (RF) energy is absorbed by the body when exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic field.

It is defined as the power absorbed per mass of tissue and has units of Watts per kilogram.

SAR is calculated either over the whole body, or over a sample volume which is typically a 1g or 10g of tissue.

For a phone to pass Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification, that phone's maximum SAR level must be less than 1.6W/kg (watts per kilogram).
Europe - 2W/kg
Canada - 1.6W/kg.

Ex: Apple iphones radiation levels

Apple iPhone (4GB) 0.974
Apple iPhone (8GB) 0.974
Apple iPhone 3G (8GB) 1.38
Apple iPhone 3G (16GB) 1.38

Check other phones SAR data at CNET
Read more on Environment, Health and Safety Online ,
and Electro Pollution

Sweden - has long history of cell phone users and some research have shown some effects are happening.

Indian Scientists have published this article:
Cell Phone Radiation and Developing Tissues in Chick Embryo - A Light microsopic Study of Kidneys.

Ingole IV & Ghosh SK
MGIMS, Sevagram, M.H.

Abstract : Phenomenal increase in the number of cell phone users during late 1990s has become a matter of
concern regarding the safety of the users exposed to radiation emitted from cell phone. There have been plenty of
researches reportedly establishing the damaging effect of radiofrequency radiation emitted from cell phone on the
biological tissues. The hazardous effects on the biological tissues as reported varied from it’s effect at the molecular
level causing an increase in single and double strand DNA breakages to causing an increase in the mortality in chick
embroys exposed to radiation emitted from cell phone. Conversely many have reported it to be safe to the biological
tissues within the stipulated standards set. by the regulatory authorities.
Considering these discrepancies, the present work was taken up to investigate any effect caused by such exposure
on the developing tissues of chick embryo at the histological level. Embryos were exposed to radiation emitted from cell
phone for different durations resulting in different dose schedules. It was observed that exposure to radiation caused
damage to the developing kidneys which was more extensive with longer duration of exposure inspite of discontinuing
the exposure and giving an exposure free period before sacrificing.

Key words: Cell phone, radio frequency radiation, biological tissues, chick embryo, kidney.

Many developing nations are moving progressively because of cell phones. Cell phone has become part of our life. It cannot be eliminated completely. Research needs to be done at a fast pace to reduce the SAR levels. People have to reduce their usage especially when getting less signal and speaking while moving(such as in car) during which the radiation levels will be higher. Children under age of 5 should not use it all.

As a scientist, anybody(including me) can prove anything right or wrong by manipulative statistics. For example you can prove 1 = 2 and if I am a tobacco industry scientist, I can prove tabacco may be good and if I am against it I can prove it is the most hazardous thing in the whole earth.

People with good health die at a younger age and people who smoke regularly live longer.

All that matters is if there is a way to reduce the cell phone radiation, then the industries should do that, if not they should research more vigorously to reduce the levels. Ultimate aim - We have to make the world a better place to live - not only for us, but also for future generations to come. Sustainable technologies are the way to go.

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