It turns out that when an iPhone addict says he’s allergic to the BlackBerry, he might not be exaggerating. A new study recently revealed at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) has found that the RIM devices are somewhat likely to contain traces of nickel, a known allergen, on the outside of the phone. As the Toronto Star reports, “Allergist Dr. Tania Mucci, speaking at the conference in Anaheim, CA, on Nov. 9, said one-third of the study’s BlackBerries tested positive for nickel while iPhone and Android devices came up clean.” On the other hand, 91 per cent of last-gen flip-phones tested were found to contain nickel, a statistic that it sure to find its way to Rogers’ marketing department come contract renewal time.
Sooooo, what’s so bad about the substance that put Sudbury on the map? Well, as per The Star, “Nickel, along with cobalt — another element found in many electronic devices — can cause allergic reactions including dry, itchy patches along the cheek bones, jaw line and ears.” It’s reported that some nine per cent of North Americans are allergic to the five-cent piece, which could lead to a condition that’s been unscientifically classified “cellphone dermatitis.” (Note to self: If a beggar on Bay St claims to be suffering from severe cellphone dermatitis, chances are he’s not really homeless.)
Naturally, this revelation could prove to be devastating for Research In Motion, which has finally set a launch date for its BlackBerry 10 platform. The company has been quick to issue a statement that “allergic reactions to nickel occur if it is found on the outside of the phone. We test our phones against EU test protocol EN 1811 and have found no nickel exposure on the exterior surface of newly purchased BlackBerry smartphones.” Mind you, the study wasn’t conducted on newly-purchased CrackBerries, but rather on well-used models. I guess nobody has to worry about wearing out their BlackBerry before moving on to a better device nowadays though, eh?