Metals Used to Manufacture Smartphones on Short Supply

If you’re reading this on your iPhone today, it may surprise you to know that your smartphone may soon make the endangered species list.  A new study by experts at Yale University has found that metals used to manufacture smartphones and other electronics – including infrared optics and medical imaging – are on short supply.

By looking at factors including the geological abundance of the metals, current mining technology, and the political and economic regulations on mining, experts have been able to estimate future availability–  and it doesn’t look good. 

“(These metals) often exist in small quantities and … they don’t have any substitutes.” says Yale University Professor Thomas Graedel. “It seems as if it’s time to think a little bit more about the end of these beautiful products."

Ultimately, he suggests that the preservation of these materials depends on resolving the issues in the recycling process. As previously reported, services like ecoATM, who reached an industry milestone by recycling over 4.3 million devices, are taking the necessary steps to recycle old devices and extend the life of these crucial materials.

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