Why you might want to hold off buying iPhone 5

Published On: Oct 24 2012 12:52:58 PM CDT

If you are thinking about buying a new iPhone 5, you might want to keep your older smartphone in your pocket.

The newer iPhone has higher levels of harmful chemicals, according to a report just released by a Michigan-based environmental health nonprofit called the Ecology Center.

Scientists compared the 36 most popular cellphones and smartphones on the market, including the iPhone 5 and its primary competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S III.  Each phone was tested for a variety of hazardous materials, including lead, mercury, and cadmium.  Not a single phone was free of hazardous materials.

Newer phones had fewer hazardous materials than older phones, except when it came to the iPhone 5 and its predecessor, the iPhone 4S.  The Motorola Citrus ranked the best. The iPhone 2 ranked the worst.  

The biggest concern about toxic materials in cellphones has to do with disposal. When these phones are recycled, people disassembling them are at risk of being exposed.  

Experts suggest regardless of which phone you have, to get a headset that will allow you to use your phone without having to touch it or have it near your face.  They also suggest recycling your old cellphone properly.