First it was accidentally swallowing a toothbrush; next, erectile dysfunction; then, it was detached retinas. Now, the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau, the city’s top quality watchdog, has given us another reason to fear cell phones — or rather, this time, their plastic cases.
Two days ago, the Bureau announced that a check of fifty batches of mobile cell phone covers resulted in the discovery that six of them contained such hazardous toxic plasticizers as – yep, you guessed it! – diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).
According to our friends at the Bureau, these plasticizers – once they’ve penetrated the human body – can cause such as harm as male impotence and, if consumed in large amounts, liver cancer. These plasticizers pose the greatest threat to women and children.
In addition, three batches were found to contain carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that can “damage human genes, lead to cancer of the skin, lung cancer, upper respiratory tract tumor, arteriosclerosis and infertilitas.”
Shanghai Daily reports:
“A batch of mobile phone shells made by Shanghai Yuansu Electronics Co Ltd was found to contain 408 milligrams per kilogram of BBP, DBP and DEHP in total, while another batch by Shenzhen Renqing Science and Technology Co Ltd had 70.7 milligrams per kilogram of these plasticizers.” We’re not quite sure exactly how much that is, but it sure sounds like a lot.
Unfortunately, China does not rank as one of the countries that enforces restrictions on the amount of plasticizers contained in plastic cement products.
Hopefully the next time you consider adding to your Hello Kitty cell phone case collection, you will think of what awful poisons that might be found within its seemingly benign walls and keep walking. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
By Alex Stevens