BlackBerry has been having a rough go of it lately, slowly sliding into irrelevance as Android and iPhone corner the market. Now add one more nail to that coffin: a study says that people are allergic to BlackBerry phones. As in, an actual itch-inducing allergy. As in, to a phone.
The (strange, silly-sounding) study is being presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Researchers looked at phones for two allergens, cobalt and nickel; about a third of BlackBerries had nickel, they found. The flip-phone models were worse: about 91 percent of those had nickel and 52 percent had cobalt. iPhones and Android phones, by comparison, didn't seem to have either allergen.
Researchers point out that this is a common allergy; about 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men get itching and swelling in their jaw line, ears, and cheeks when they come into contact with cobalt and nickel. But, come on, there's a lot of nickel out there, and it's not just in phones. These phones (especially the flip phones) have also been around for a while now without causing a dry skin pandemic. There are so many other good reasons for people to switch to iPhone or Android!
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.