Cell phones contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic, all are considered hazardous waste if sent to landfills where they can leach into the soil and groundwater. Cell phones also contain an ore called Coltan, which is mined in endangered gorilla habitat in Africa.
How does coltan mining affect gorillas?
Coltan mined in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is called a ‘conflict mineral’ by human rights groups. … The gorillas are not only affected by direct mining, their mountain habitats are cut down for access routes and they are poached and eaten by the impoverished miners as bush meat.
What endangered animal species is positively impacted by cell phone recycling and why?
Cellphones are still endangering gorillas, but recycling old ones can help. The Congo Basin, key habitat for gorillas and chimpanzees, is rich in minerals such as coltan, gold and tin that are used in electronics.
What is the connection between coltan and gorillas?
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The world’s largest gorilla sub-species has seen its population fall 77 percent over the past two decades, a trend linked to illegal mining for coltan, a key mineral used in the production of cell phones and electronics, a new report has found.
Why should we recycle phones?
Recycling helps us all by: Conserving the environment. Cell phones contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants. When cell phones are thrown away and are burnt, these toxic metals are released into the environment polluting it.
How do cell phones affect gorillas?
Cell phones contain a number of hazardous substances that can impact the environment when discarded. This has resulted in the destruction, through mining, of some critical gorilla habitat, which of course also affects the entire ecosystem in which they live. …
Why is coltan in phones?
Many cell phones and other electronic devices contain a mineral called tantalum, which comes from the ore coltan (columbite-tantalite). Tantalum is used to make tantalum capacitors, which are used in all sorts of electronic devices from phones to electric vehicle batteries.
How are cell phones recycled?
One method of recycling cell phones is to take the working parts of broken phones and combine them with the working parts of other used cell phones to make one ready-to-use cell phone. The rebuilt phone can then be sent back into circulation without ever needing newly manufactured parts or natural resources.
Does the Cincinnati Zoo take old cell phones?
All unusable cell phones are recycled under strict EPA guidelines by certified recyclers. *The Zoo partners with ECO-CELL, a Louisville-based company, to recycle old cell phones.
Is coltan still used in cell phones?
Coltan is used primarily for the production of tantalum capacitors, used in many electronic devices. Coltan is important in the production of mobile phones; and tantalum capacitors that are used in almost every kind of electronic device.
How does coltan mining affect the environment?
In addition to the human toll, coltan exploitation has also proven severely destructive to the region’s environment and biodiversity. … Coltan mining has destroyed much of the gorillas’ natural habitat, leaving them vulnerable to poachers who kill them and sell them to coltan miners and rebel groups for food.
What important mineral do gorillas and elephants get from this aquatic area?
The mines of columbite and tantalite, which result in coltan, wiped out the majority of the population of gorillas and elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its production involves, besides the killing of animals, deeply human and environmental exploitation.
Why is mining coltan controversial?
Besides the harm it does to food security in the eastern Congo, coltan mining is inimical to land uses such as ecotourism, game ranches, and medical research which could possibly provide better incomes and profit from the wildlife and forest land. Mining threatens the national parks across the Congo.
How do cell phones help the environment?
Recycling or reusing cell phones helps the environment by saving energy, conserving natural resources, and keeping reusable materials out of landfills.
How are cell phones affecting the environment?
Phones with large screens add even more carbon to the air than smaller phones do. … If we continue with this practice, phones will account for over 12 million tons of landfill waste in 2020. The impact of mobile phones on our ecosystem is expected to grow. An estimated five billion people will use mobile phones in 2020.
How does the disposal of cell phones affect the environment?
Pollutants from e-waste can accumulate in our bodies and can lead to DNA damage and cancer. … Additionally, e-waste disposed of through open burning or other illegal measures (which is more common in developing countries) can contaminate wildlife, such as fish, which can be traded locally or around the world.