Much has been written about the detrimental effects of smartphones on attention spans, stress levels and dinner table conversations.
Much has been written about the detrimental effects of smartphones on attention spans, stress levels and dinner table conversations. Now new research from the University of Toronto suggests they could also be a source of toxic chemicals, or at least an indicator of the chemicals to which people are exposed.
In a study published today in Environment International, researchers at U of T found levels of several toxic chemicals on the smartphones of Canadian women aged 18 to 44 were related to levels of those chemicals in their bodies and on their hands.
It is the first study to identify handheld electronic devices as a potential source of exposure to organophosphate esters, chemicals often used either as flame retardants or “plasticizers” that make materials such as polyvinyl chloride more flexible and durable.
“We are concerned with these chemicals as they have been linked to neurotoxicity, decreased fertility and thyroid problems,” says Miriam Diamond, a professor in the department of earth sciences in U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science and lead author of the study.
Continue reading at University of Toronto.
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