By Stephen Leahy
Mobile telephones in Latin America and across the developing world will contain less toxic materials, thanks to strict European standards, analysts say.
TORONTO, Jan 6 2007 (Tierramérica)
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.
The new, stricter standards adopted by the European Union in 2006, forced the world’s five leading cell phone manufacturers to eliminate toxic metals and other materials from their products.
In a year or two, the majority of the more than one billion new mobiles sold annually will meet the EU standards even if most countries don’t have those restrictions, says Zeina Alhajj, a toxics expert with the environmental watchdog Greenpeace International.
“The mobile phone is a global product with screws made in China, silicon chips made in Malaysia, and cables made in the Philippines,” Alhajj told Tierramérica from Amsterdam.
It would be too complicated to manufacture phones to meet different standards, so the big companies are making all their phones meet European regulations, which are the toughest in the world, she added. Continue reading