Non-RoHS Compliant Cell Phones May Be "Dumped" In China, Latin America, and US

rohs_leaf2.jpgThis is a good news-bad news post. The headline is obviously the bad news. From Tierramérica (a cool site for green policy wonks) we learn from Stephen Leahy that "Cellular telephones that contain toxic chemicals are still being sold in Latin America and other developing regions. But thanks to strict European regulations, there are progressively fewer phones being made with cadmium, lead and other dangerous materials." Sorting out the compliaint ones is difficult because "A mobile phone can contain 500 to 1,000 components. Many of these contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and beryllium, and hazardous chemicals, such as brominated flame retardants (BFR)..."As a result of RoHS, a number of mobiles can no longer be sold in the EU," said Alhajj [with GreenPeace]. "Those phones are going to be sold in China, the USA and Latin America."" Is the USA, then, in the same class as "developing" nations when it comes to product end of life management? Not entirely, as a Michigan USA business has found their opening in the world of cell phone re-use throughout the Americas, with or without government directive: "Potentially, tens of millions of old phones will be collected and sent to a company in the U.S. state of Michigan called ReCellular Inc., which sorts, erases all data contained in the phones' electronic chips, cleans, tests and re-sells them". That's the good news. Image credit: this site.

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows