Friday, October 21, 2016

A Deadly Path

Environmental & Science Education
by Edward Hessler


They are everywhere in our device-filled world.  Most of us don't see them or even think of them except when they fail or need a quick re-charge. They are made with incredible human costs.  And like many human costs in this world, they are hidden from our view, even our awareness.

The Washington Post has a carefully reported article that traces the path of cobalt from the hand-dug mines in Congo to us... to our phones, laptops, and other electronic devices.

The essay includes compelling photographs and a video.

Cobalt was discovered by Georg Brandt (June 26, 1694 to April 19, 1768). This Wikipedia entry notes that he "was the first person to discover a metal unknown in ancient times."  Brandt was able to show that it was cobalt, not bismuth, that imparts the blue color to glass.

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