Everyone knows the cost of a smartphone in dollars, but experts say it's time to know what is the equivalent of the cost in human lives. Information portal experts Me Policy highlights seven pieces of terrible data that make up the real price of our smartphones.
1) China produces 50% of all phones in the world.
Labor in factories in China consists of more than 12 million teenagers who have to leave their homes for a living.
2) 80% of the world's reserves of coltan, a mineral needed to produce the chips for phones and computers, is in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Militia rebels have control since the '90s coltan extraction in the African country, forcing women and children to work in mines. The rebels are fighting each other for the monopoly of the production and trade of coltan, which is already known as "conflict mineral".
3) In China's factories, a normal working day is 15 hours.
Employees have one vacation day per month. The factory bosses force their employees to work 24 hours without ventilation facilities filled with toxic exhalations that can cause leukemia.
4) In a Chinese factory, in 10 months 14 employees committed suicide.
At Foxconn, in China, 18 plant employees tried to commit suicide and 14 of them succeeded. Instead of improving working conditions, managers of the plant installed a network around the building to prevent employees from jumping from the roof. Besides, now the employees are required to sign a contract in which they agree not to attempt end their own life.
5) Each year, 40 million tons of electronic debris occur.
Many countries send their debris to landfills located abroad. The owners of these landfills burn the debris to reduce the amount of waste, emitting carbon dioxide and other toxic gases into the atmosphere.
6) U.S. produces 3.3 million tons of electronic debris.
U.S. is the world leader in production of electronic debris.
7) The great e-waste dumps are located in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.