Helium and Indium, elements from the periodic table of elements, are becoming endangered. This has to do, in part, with our massive use of smart phones.
GeoBeats News reports:
Animals tend to be most commonly referred to as endangered, but scientists also consider numerous elements to be in dangerously short supply. In fact, 44 elements in the periodic table are considered to exist in limited quantities, and 9 of these have been categorized as seriously threatened in the next 100 years. One of them is helium which is only second to hydrogen as the universe’s most abundant element, but its overuse has made it vulnerable.
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Indium is also on the serious list because of its relatively low concentrations compared to the high demand for its integral role in touchscreens for smartphones and tablets.
In fact, scientists are particularly concerned about the drain smartphones are having on minerals and chemicals, with one remarking at a conference last year that they are made with 60 to 70 elements which, according to him, “has led to issues related to availability.” It’s important to note, though, that elements cannot actually become extinct because they are, for the most part, indestructible. Rather, humans are extracting them at a high enough level that access to desired quantities will become too limited or expensive.
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