What Raw Materials are Used to Make Mobile Phones? Which impact do they have in our health?

Cell phones have revolutionized our lives in a way that no one could have foreseen 30 years ago. The rise of cell phones in the last decade is the most important technological change since the advent of the Internet as a global communication network in the 1990s.

In recent years, cell phones have been transformed from simple communication devices to portable computers thanks to the innovative use of different materials and elements.

However, we should be aware that the electronic components of cell phones consist of various metals and compounds extracted from minerals – such as plastic, glass, lithium, silicon, iron, aluminum, copper, cobalt, tin, lead, zinc, nickel, silver and gold – which pose risks to our health and the environment.

Due to their growing popularity and limited lifespan, cell phones constitute an ever-increasing waste stream. Often, these devices cannot be repaired after a malfunction. In addition, less than 20% of smartphone components are recyclable. As a result, an increasing amount of electronic waste is accumulating on Earth.

From the interactivegoals project we intend to raise awareness among European high school students of the importance of a responsible use of their cell phones both to prevent their health, physical and mental, and to preserve our environment by contributing to recycle or properly dispose of e-waste and to favor a circular economy. In this way, they will also be contributing to the achievement of several of the SDGs of the 2030 agenda.