Many people swear allegiance to either the Blackberry or iPhone, based on operating systems, apps and appearance. Now scientists have revealed which one is better for your health at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
There are more than 285 million cellphone users in the U.S. and researchers have been studying two of the most popular smart-phones for the common allergens, nickel and cobalt. When the results were analysed there was a clear loser in terms of cobalt and nickel content.
“Approximately one-third of all Blackberries contain nickel, but neither cobalt nor nickel was detected in iPhones or Droids,” said allergist Tania Mucci, M.D., lead study author and ACAAI member. “Both metals can cause an allergic reaction including dry, itchy patches along the cheekbones, jaw line and ears.”
The less popular flip phone models also contained levels of cobalt and nickel with 91 percent containing nickel and 52 percent showing levels of cobalt. These metals are commonly used in jewelry, coins and makeup. Nickel is one of the most common contact allergens, affected almost 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men.
Symptoms of nickel and cobalt allergies can include redness, swelling, itching, eczema, blistering, skin lesions and occasional scarring. For sufferers that use their phones a lot, ACAAI advises opting for plastic phone cases, wireless earpieces and clear film screens to decrease allergic reactions.
“Patients with nickel and cobalt allergies should consider using iPhones or Droids to reduce the chance of having an allergic reaction,” said allergist Luz Fonacier, M.D., study author and ACAAI fellow.
“Blackberry users with known allergies should avoid prolonged conversations, text messaging and handling their phones if they begin noticing symptoms.”