More cellphone health risks

Now your cell phone has something for you to worry about besides cancer-causing radiation.

Researchers at the Institute of NBC Defence and Tsinghua University in China heated lithium-ion batteries, the usual power source in cell phones and other portable devices, to higher-than-normal temperatures. The scientists found that, as temperatures rise, the batteries begin leaking as many as 100 noxious gases, including ethyl cyanide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. 

In a confined space, such as a car or airplane, the fumes could cause headaches, eye irritation and other discomfort. Over time, the effects could be more severe.

The results are concerning because batteries can leak gases just from using a defective charger, leaving the device in the sun, on a heat register, or just using it excessively.

As health concerns related to cellphones, tablets and other portable electronics mount, the industry will begin to introduce “clean” devices that protect users from toxic effects. Just as the Trends Research Institute predicted the birth of the clean-food movement, we predict the rise of “clean phones” for essentially the same reason: “A large market sector is ready to put its money where its health is. Thus, safer cellphone devices that are effective and marketed with a ‘clean phone’ theme and brand will corner a market with rich and growing potential.”

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