I’m no fan of cell phones, but this seems to be an article about a solution looking for a problem. Presumably, cell phones would be disposed of in landfills and, therefore, not exactly “released” into the environment, as the article states.
In any case, the 312,000 pounds of lead in all cell phones owned in 2005 should be put into the context of the estimated 350 million pounds of lead released in 2002 by the coal and metal mining industries, or the 8.8 million pounds released by the electric-power-generation industry. Also, federal agencies estimate that about 6,000 million pounds of lead remain in 57 million houses in the United States.
John Coleman Madison, Wis.
From the Nature Index
Subscribers, enter your e-mail address for full access to the Science News archives and digital editions.