Droid, Blackberry or iPhone? When it comes to ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, doctors say there is a clear winner.
According to a study presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology this week, allergists found Droids and iPhones do not contain two common allergens — cobalt and nickel — but that Blackberries harbor nickel.
What’s more, more than 90 percent of flip-phone models contain nickel and 52 percent tested positive for cobalt, the ACAAI allergists reported.
Both metals are commonly used in jewelry, coins, makeup, and other consumer products — even though they are common contact allergens. Nickel allergies, for instance, affect 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men.
With an estimated 285 million cellphone subscribers in the United States, ACAAI allergists said their study findings are significant.
"Approximately one-third of all Blackberries contain nickel, but neither cobalt nor nickel was detected in iPhones or Droids," said allergist Dr. Tania Mucci, who led the study. "Both metals can cause an allergic reaction including dry, itchy patches along the cheek bones, jaw line, and ears."
Dr. Luz Fonacier, a co-researcher and allergist, added that people with nickel and cobalt allergies should consider using iPhones or Droids to reduce the chance of having an allergic reaction: "Blackberry users with known allergies should avoid prolonged conversations, text messaging and handling their phones if they begin noticing symptoms."
The researchers noted symptoms of nickel and cobalt allergies can include redness, swelling, itching, eczema, blistering, skin lesions, and even scarring. ACAAI specialists advised people with allergies to use plastic phone cases, wireless ear pieces, and clear film screens to decrease their risk of allergic reactions.