If you count yourself among the cell-phone-hating masses (and doesn’t almost everyone at least claim to, even if owning one on the sly?), here’s more fuel for your fire: Within three years, Americans alone will discard about 130 million cellular telephones annually, generating 65,000 tons of toxic trash, according to a recent report. On average, cell-phone-owning Americans (135 million of them and counting) hang on to their hi-tech toys for 18 months before tossing them in the garbage, according to Inform, the environmental organization that released the report. Into the garbage with them (and from there into the landfill) goes an entire alphabet soup of toxins, from arsenic to zinc, that have been associated with cancer and neurological problems, especially in children. The report urges the cell phone industry to expand “take-back” programs so phones and batteries can be recycled, as well as to standardize technical and design features so users don’t have to throw their phones away when they switch services.

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