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3. Your cell phone’s emitting toxic gas
Cell phones and many other electronic devices use lithium-ion batteries. In fact, these batteries are used in two billion consumer devices every year. The only problem is they could be emitting as many as 100 toxic gases at any given time.
Researchers from the Institute of NBC Defence and Tsinghua University in China heated 20,000 lithium ion batteries to the point of explosion. While doing this, they found that as these devices heated up, they began emitting gases like butane, ethyl cyanide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. At best, these gases can severely irritate your eyes, skin and nasal passages. At worst, some of these gases can kill you.
“Such dangerous substances, in particular carbon monoxide, have the potential to cause serious harm within a short period of time if they leak inside a small, sealed environment, such as the interior of a car or an airplane compartment,” said Dr. Jie Sun, lead author of the study and professor at the Institute of NBC Defence.
Overheating is one way to release fumes from lithium ion batteries, but there are others. Researchers say it can also happen when the battery is damaged or you use a disreputable charger. And those are just the ways researchers have identified so far. There’s still a lot they don’t know about when, why and how these fumes are released.