Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 100–109 | Cite as

Effect of technology development on potential environmental impacts from heavy metals in waste smartphones

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
  • 252 Downloads

Abstract

Technology development has brought beneficial changes in the functions of smartphones but has the potential to impact the environment due to the high generation of waste smartphones. Thus, this study evaluates and compares environmental impact potentials from metals in waste smartphones to figure out the effect of smartphone model replacements on hazardous waste, resource depletion, and toxicity potentials. The total threshold limit concentration (TTLC) analysis is used to determine whether the waste smartphones would be classified as hazardous waste, and the life-cycle impact assessment methods are used to evaluate resource depletion, cancer, non-cancer, and ecotoxicity potentials. The TTLC results showed that the smartphone technology development did not reduce hazardous waste potentials. The life-cycle impact assessment results showed that the technology development overall reduced resource depletion potential but increased toxicity potential. In addition, priority metals contributing to the potentials were identified to effectively manage their environmental impacts. This study can provide fundamental information for smartphone manufacturers, waste smartphone recyclers and disposers, and e-waste policymakers to circulate resources and to prevent environmental pollutions from hazardous and toxic materials.

Keywords

Environmental impact Metal Smartphone Technology development 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2014R1A1A2059556).

Supplementary material

10163_2016_548_MOESM1_ESM.docx (325 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 325 kb)

References

  1. 1.
    Myslewski (2009) iPhone conquers half the (smartphone) world. The Register. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/24/admob_mobile_metrics_report/. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  2. 2.
    Business Wire (2011) Research and markets: smartphones: a worldwide view—more than half of US handset shipments will be smartphones by 2012 and will move to 1 billion by 2015 Worldwide|Business Wire. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:s8VgykeZ91sJ:www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110210005842/en/Research-Markets-Smartphones-Worldwide-View-Handset+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=kr. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  3. 3.
    Li X, Ortiz P, Kuczenski B, Franklin D, Chong FT (2012) Mitigating the environmental impact of smartphones with device reuse. Sustain ICTs Manag Syst Green Comput 11:252–282. doi: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1839-8.ch011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    IDC (2011) Estimates 50% growth in worldwide smartphone market in 2011|Mobile Marketing Watch. http://mobilemarketingwatch.com/idc-estimates-50-growth-in-worldwide-smartphone-market-in-2011-14227/. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  5. 5.
    Lincoln JD, Ogunseitan OA, Shapiro AA, Saphores JD (2007) Leaching assessments of hazardous materials in cellular telephones. Environ Sci Technol 41:2572–2578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nnorom IC (2008) Material flows of mobile phones and accessories in Nigeria: environmental implications and sound end-of-life management options. Environ Impact Assess Rev 28:198–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Maragkos KG, Hahladakis JN, Gidarakos E (2013) Qualitative and quantitative determination of metals in waste cellular phones. Waste Manag 33:1882–1889. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2013.05.016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Witthawin C (2013) Comparison of environmental impacts for end-of-life(EoL) management of smartphones. Dissertation, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand Center of Excellence on hazardous Substance Management (HSM). http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:zTy2BTvT_Q4J:www.hsm.chula.ac.th/ehsm2013/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/O-A-03.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=kr. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  9. 9.
    Jang Y, Kim M (2010) Management of used and end-of-life mobile phones in Korea: a review. Resour Conserv Recycl 55:11–19. doi: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2010.07.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ercan EM (2013) Global warming potential of a smartphone: using life cycle assessment methodology. Master of Science Thesis (Industrial Ecology), Royal Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    ISO 14040:2006—Environmental management—life cycle assessment—principles and framework. http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=37456. Accessed 22 Jun 2015
  12. 12.
    ISO 14044:2006—Environmental management—life cycle assessment—requirements and guidelines. http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=38498. Accessed 22 Jun 2015
  13. 13.
    Prosuite (2013) Final deliverable W6, D6.3: case study: information technology (multifunctional mobile devices)—Final Sustain Assess. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:OMvbLkTtO9UJ:www.prosuite.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=9102d135-b389-4bed-9a07-a456e0db2214&groupId=12772+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=kr. Accessed 22 Jun 2015
  14. 14.
    California Department of Toxic Substances Control (2004) SB20 report; determination of regulated elements in discarded laptop computers, LCD monitors, plasma TVs and LCD TVs. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:wiIpMXX6LE4J:www.dtsc.ca.gov/HazardousWaste/EWaste/upload/HWMP_REP_SB20_LCD.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=kr. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  15. 15.
    Central of Environmental Science (CML) (2013) CML-IA characterisation factors (version 4.2)—software and data—CML. http://cml.leiden.edu/software/data-cmlia.html. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  16. 16.
    Environmental priority strategies in product development (EPS).Version 2000-model and data of default method. CMP Report No. 5. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:HwNqrnE_VJ0J:www.cpm.chalmers.se/document/reports/99/1999_4.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=kr. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  17. 17.
    ReCiPe (2013) 2008—database containing characterisation factors (version 1.08). http://www.lcia-recipe.net/file-cabinet. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  18. 18.
  19. 19.
    Lim SR, Schoenung JM (2010) Toxicity potentials from waste cellular phones, and a waste management policy integrating consumer, corporate, and government responsibilities. Waste Manag 30:1653–1660. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2010.04.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lim S, Schoenung JM (2010) Human health and ecological toxicity potentials due to metal content in waste electronic devices with flat panel displays. J Hazard Mater 177:251–259. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.12.025 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    US EPA Design for Environment (DfE). Safer Choice|US EPA. http://www2.epa.gov/saferchoice. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  22. 22.
    Ecodesign and Energy Labelling—European Commission. http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/european-standards/harmonised-standards/ecodesign/index_en.htm. Accessed 23 Jun 2015
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
    Sludge, treated biowaste and soil—digestion for the extraction of aqua regia soluble fraction of trace elements. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:go4yXVNj_GMJ:https://www.ecn.nl/docs/society/horizontal/Aqua_regia_Digestion_Standard_for_validation.pdf+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=kr. Accessed 23 JUn 2015
  25. 25.
    Buijs B, Sievers H, Tercero Espinoza LA (2012) Limits to the critical raw materials approach. Proc ICE Waste Resour Manag 165:201–208. doi: 10.1680/warm.12.00010 Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    European Parliament and Council Directive 2009/125?EC of the European Parliament and Council OF 21 October 2009 Establishing a Framework for the Setting of Ecodesign Requirements for Energy-related Products 2009(EUR-Lex-32009L0125-EN-EUR-Lex). http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32009L0125. Accessed 23 Jun 2015

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, College of EngineeringKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringGwangju Institute of Science and TechnologyGwangjuSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Environmental EngineeringKyungpook National UniversityDaeguSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations