The Toxic Legacy of 4.3 Million Flammable Samsung Smartphones

The Toxic Legacy of 4.3 Million Flammable Samsung Smartphones. TakePart, November 2, 2016.

Greenpeace presses the electronics giant to recycle the defective phones and keep their hazardous components out of landfills.

What will become of the 4.3 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones at risk of spontaneous combustion? The environmental group Greenpeace says Samsung’s corporate crisis presents a “big opportunity” to develop a new model for recycling and repurposing e-waste.

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, “has said that it will not recycle the phones and has still not offered any clarity on what it will do,” Greenpeace claimed in a statement.

Smartphones contain toxic heavy metals such as hexavalent chromium, arsenic, beryllium, and cadmium. They enter the environment when buried or incinerated and accumulate in air, soil, and water, as well as in humans and wildlife. Much of the electronic waste ends up in such countries as Vietnam, China, and Nigeria, where poor communities burn circuit boards and plastic and soak microchips in acid to extract materials, which can turn entire villages into toxic waste dumps.

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