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iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S Among Least Toxic Smartphones

By - Source: iFixit | B 27 comments

iPhone 2G, though, contains the most toxics.


iFixit and HealthyStuff have analyzed the level of toxic chemicals found in 36 mobile phones, with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S among the least toxic.

The study, which was performed in order to discover what hazardous chemicals are found in popular smartphones, found that modern handsets generally contain fewer harmful chemicals than their predecessors.

Researchers carried out an X-ray fluorescence spectrometric analysis of 36 devices and assigned a rating on a scale of 0 to 5 (lowest being the best), as well as a ranking by chemical, component and "overall."

The process itself consisted of chemical analysis testing for 12 common hazardous chemicals, including bromine, mercury and lead. Component testing, meanwhile, was based on a breakdown by case, screen, solder, circuit board and other significant parts. The final stage of analysis constituted an overall assessment of each device.


Although the iPhone 2G was found to be the least environmentally friendly smartphone, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 were labelled a "low concern" at 2.69 and 2.75, respectively.

Other smartphones branded environmentally friendly were the LG Remarq, and the Motorola Citrus, in addition to Samsung's Captivate and Evergreen. The device that contained the least toxic chemicals with a score of 2.56 was the Citrus.

However, the report added that major cellphone manufacturers shouldn't "rest on their laurels" as "many toxics remain" in discarded handsets.

"The 'low concern' Samsung Reclaim had a 'high concern' proportion of arsenic. Twenty-four of the phones (nearly 70%) had a 'high concern' proportion of copper," said repair experts iFixit. "There is a trend of less toxics overtime, it looks like—especially for Apple. That’s good, but it’s not good enough."

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  • 26 Hide
    dxwarlock , October 3, 2012 8:09 PM
    Why is this listed as an iPhone centered article?
    36 phones was tested, and iPhone wasn't #1, and even was the worst..yet ALL 3 phones mentioned in the title and header was all one brand.
    the idea of 36 phones was tested, and 8% of them was iPhone so base the article topic around it seems strange.

    Why not just make the topic more blatantly obvious for its intent:
    "iPhones was tested for toxicity levels..results inside (oh and 32 other random phones, if anyone would care about them)
  • 25 Hide
    southernshark , October 3, 2012 8:15 PM
    So instead of saying "Motorola Citrus, Least Toxic Smartohone", the author of the story had to turn this into an Apple advertisement, which virtually ignores the actual winner.
  • 20 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , October 3, 2012 8:21 PM
    What about the clouds of smug that so many iPhones emit?
Other Comments
  • -5 Hide
    Marco925 , October 3, 2012 7:52 PM
    oooohhh... It's still toxic to an extent and it's not like i'm eating my smartphone. Everyone knows you have to recycle your old electronics equipment. Next!
  • 4 Hide
    ohim , October 3, 2012 8:03 PM
    I`ve heard rat poison is very dangerous :-s
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2012 8:09 PM
    yeah, doesn't include the factories in china's toxic waste.
  • 26 Hide
    dxwarlock , October 3, 2012 8:09 PM
    Why is this listed as an iPhone centered article?
    36 phones was tested, and iPhone wasn't #1, and even was the worst..yet ALL 3 phones mentioned in the title and header was all one brand.
    the idea of 36 phones was tested, and 8% of them was iPhone so base the article topic around it seems strange.

    Why not just make the topic more blatantly obvious for its intent:
    "iPhones was tested for toxicity levels..results inside (oh and 32 other random phones, if anyone would care about them)
  • 25 Hide
    southernshark , October 3, 2012 8:15 PM
    So instead of saying "Motorola Citrus, Least Toxic Smartohone", the author of the story had to turn this into an Apple advertisement, which virtually ignores the actual winner.
  • 17 Hide
    d33dave , October 3, 2012 8:18 PM
    iphone propaganda.....just wow
  • 20 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , October 3, 2012 8:21 PM
    What about the clouds of smug that so many iPhones emit?
  • 4 Hide
    jojesa , October 3, 2012 8:30 PM
    dxwarlockWhy is this listed as an iPhone centered article? 36 phones was tested, and iPhone wasn't #1, and even was the worst..yet ALL 3 phones mentioned in the title and header was all one brand.the idea of 36 phones was tested, and 8% of them was iPhone so base the article topic around it seems strange.Why not just make the topic more blatantly obvious for its intent:"iPhones was tested for toxicity levels..results inside (oh and 32 other random phones, if anyone would care about them)

    It's called Bait-and-switch.
    If they had the Citrus and the Remarq in the tittle we will never have been caught reading this article.
    I didn't even know that there was a phone called Citrus :o 
  • 9 Hide
    bllue , October 3, 2012 8:37 PM
    jojesaIt's called Bait-and-switch.If they had the Citrus and the Remarq in the tittle we will never have been caught reading this article.I didn't even know that there was a phone called Citrus

    Not if it said "Motorola Citrus and LG Remarq Smartphones Are Less Toxic than iPhone 5."
  • 4 Hide
    dark_wizzie , October 3, 2012 8:53 PM
    Until I decide to lick the insides of an Iphone, this doesn't concern me. Of course, why the hell would I be holding an Iphone in the first place?
  • 7 Hide
    nforce4max , October 3, 2012 9:38 PM
    The gm wheat and Corn from Monsanto is much more toxic than these phones but people eat the gm gunk anyway without knowing it. Dump the wheat you will dump the weight. Dump the Monsanto corn and your chances of getting cancer drop dramatically. Monsanto = Deadly Foods

    Monsanto's Soy is also extremely toxic and along with their Corn also causes fertility problems in live stock and people.
  • 2 Hide
    Prey , October 3, 2012 9:39 PM
    I'm guessing this doesn't count the workers that threw themselves off a building.
  • 3 Hide
    wlachan , October 3, 2012 10:58 PM
    I am afraid the issue is far more complicated than that. The manufacturing processes produce huge amount of toxic byproducts too. What you see inside any products is only a fracture of the problems.
  • 2 Hide
    opmopadop , October 3, 2012 11:00 PM
    PreyI'm guessing this doesn't count the workers that threw themselves off a building.

    Or the amount of waste generated to produce the phone!!!
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , October 3, 2012 11:15 PM
    nforce4maxThe gm wheat and Corn from Monsanto is much more toxic than these phones but people eat the gm gunk anyway without knowing it. Dump the wheat you will dump the weight. Dump the Monsanto corn and your chances of getting cancer drop dramatically. Monsanto = Deadly Foods Monsanto's Soy is also extremely toxic and along with their Corn also causes fertility problems in live stock and people.

    I normally don't help posts like this survive, but this is important. Seed's aren't the only thing this company produces, its true intent is death,and it has been trying to find a way to put that into the world food supply for nearly 50 years. Thanks to deregulation it has finally succeeded. This is the company that brought you DDT and Agent Orange (now considered chemical weapons) and sold them as pesticides. Now it controls the flow of seeds for the worlds food supply. This company's food products have been banned from 27 countries for causing obesity, cancer and sterility. Please educate yourself on this if you haven't already.
  • 1 Hide
    okibrian , October 4, 2012 12:23 AM
    Quote:
    yeah, doesn't include the factories in china's toxic waste.

    You have no idea what's made in China do you? That TV you watch, that phone you put to your head, radio and just about all that plastic junk around your house.

    Major customers of Foxconn:

    Acer Inc.
    Amazon.com
    Apple Inc.
    Cisco
    Dell
    Hewlett-Packard
    Intel
    Microsoft
    Motorola
    Nintendo
    Nokia
    Sony
    Toshiba
    Vizio
  • -2 Hide
    _Pez_ , October 4, 2012 1:24 AM
    I saw a diferent story ..

  • -2 Hide
    _Pez_ , October 4, 2012 1:27 AM
  • -2 Hide
    gfair , October 4, 2012 5:12 AM
    The difference between the Motorola and the iPhone is tiny, that's why it's not worth pointing out an absolute winner. They are both just as toxic for all practical purposes. If the Moto scored under 2.0, that would be a significant difference.
  • 1 Hide
    DaveBG01 , October 4, 2012 8:36 AM
    So it does not even win but is still listed in the title of the article?
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