I am focusing on conflict materials in the smartphones that everyone uses in school. A lot of different companies produce these materials. Kids use them to call people, play games, and look at our schedules. Also, we sometimes use them as a stop watch. The cost of these phones differs by the number of gigabytes and the brand of the phone company.
There are a lot of materials used in smartphones, but I am going to explain about the gold (Au) used in the smartphones. The gold comes from Peru and Congo. In Congo, people are forced to mine these ores even though they barely get paid. The gold mined is used to coat wiring and make smartphone circuit connectors. Gold is a very good material for connecting circuits because it is a very good conductor. Gold allows electricity pass through wires efficiently, because it has low resistance. Gold is the 3rd best conducting metal, after silver and copper, with only 0.024Ω of resistance and it is also used because it doesn’t rust at all after coming in contact with air or water. Gold’s property is very stable. It doesn’t chemically react to practically anything which makes it very useful inside smartphones.
Regarding safety issues, a lot of people have died mining these materials. This is an issue because the military, which runs the Congo government, is not doing anything to reduce the death rate. They are just thinking about making money. They need to keep their workers safe because if they keep on killing people, they will end up with no workers left. Congo’s military makes millions of dollars using the money from selling minerals like gold. This is an issue because the military is getting a lot of the money, but only a little amount of the money is given to the workers. Ethically, people should not risk their lives mining for ore just for money. They should use machines that are not as dangerous and don’t put other people in danger. This is an issue because the military is using humans to make money, but not paying them that much. The people mining are not getting the right amount of money but they are risking their lives.
To help fix the problem, we could buy phones that do not contain materials that are mined from places like the Congo. If we do this, the companies which sell phones might stop receiving phones from factories that use materials causing problems. Instead, they will buy phones that are made from materials that are not mined from places such as Congo. Also, using materials that are brought in from slavery is illegal trade. We could also make Congo stop using slaves because if companies stop buying materials, Congo will not get any money and it would be just a waste of work done by the slaves. Also, another suggestion is people could protest against the companies and pressure them to stop importing the materials from places that use slaves to mine ores. Companies will notice what they were doing wrong and start using materials that are mined at legal and proper mines.
“BestApplePrice.com – An Awesome Site to Find the Best Apple IPhone 5 Price in India – Compare & Buy.” BestApplePrice.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
ENOUGHproject. “Conflict Minerals 101.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Nov. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
“電気を通すもののウソと静電気.” 電気を通すもののウソと静電気. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
“なぜ精密機器などに金が使われているのか例スマホなどの中の機械銀の方が電気が流れやすいし、コストも銀の方が安いのに…” Yahoo!知恵袋. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
“基盤の中に金を使う理由はなぜですか？.” Yahoo!知恵袋. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
“電気を一番通すのは金が一番通し安いですか。電線もお金があれば、銅線ではなく金線が一番ですか。.” Yahoo!知恵袋. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.