A report by an US environmental research group has found that by 2005, 500 million mobile phones will have been thrown away. This raises fears that handsets could become a dangerous pollutant of the environment as they contain metals such as lead solder, arsenic and cadmium.
The report, commissioned by the US Environmental Protection Agency, also estimated that the number of discarded phones would correspond to 65,000 tons of waste.
It called upon manufacturers to make handsets fully recyclable and also discontinue the use of lead in the devices. It also suggested standardizing phone chargers to minimize waste.