Tungsten That Cost People Their Lives
|Tungsten That Cost People Their Lives. Thanks to a popular movie and a lot of media coverage, most of us are now familiar with so-called blood diamonds. However, diamonds are not the only minerals that are obtained from war-torn places like The Democratic Republic of Congo. There are many other minerals that come out of these types of places. These minerals cost more than just the money we pay for them; they cost people their lives.
Here's a look at seven conflict minerals that are worth avoiding if you have a social conscience:
1. Gold. Many people around the world have stopped purchasing diamond jewelry out of concern that the diamonds are coming from environments dominated by insurgency, torture and death. However, gold jewelry (and the gold used in other items) may be just as much of a problem. It has been reported that 90% or more of the gold coming out of the Democratic Republic of Congo is undeclared gold that is tied to the same type of horrible conflicts that we are familiar with because of blood diamonds.
2. Wolframite. You may not know what this mineral is but there's a good chance that you've handled it. That's because this mineral is commonly used to create the vibration function in mobile phones. Unfortunately, it may be coming from conflict regions. The problem with this mineral and other minerals that are used in consumer electronics is that they pass through so many hands before becoming a complete product that it is sometimes impossible to tell where the parts came from.
3. Tungsten. Wolframite comes from tungsten. It is worth knowing this in case you are seeking more information on conflict minerals. You will want to research under both names to get complete information. Tungsten is also used in things like light bulbs.
4. Tin. Tin is used in a wide variety of ways in our every day lives. For example, it is used to produce solder which is then used in the wiring of many different types of consumer electronics.
5. Cassiterite. This is a chief ore that comes from tin. It is one of the leading conflict minerals directly related to tin that is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
6. Tantalum. This is a metal that is used in electronics because of the fact that it is highly resistant to corrosion. It can also be used to make alloys which are then used to create various medical supplies ranging from surgical instruments to implants for the body. It also has the potential to be used in a diverse range of other products including glass lenses for cameras, the metal parts for vacuum furnaces and even inside of watches. Because of its diversity, it's a sought after mineral which unfortunately also comes from conflict-torn regions.
7. Coltan. It is important to know that tantalum actually comes from an ore called coltan. People who are interested in researching the components of the products that they purchase will want to look under both names to determine whether or not this product is being used in the production of their goods.
What Can You Do?
Conflict minerals provide funds to leaders of war-torn areas. These leaders use these funds to purchase weapons which they then use to commit violent atrocities against the people living there. Some of the things you can do to help end this problem are:
Recommit to your frugal way of living. The fewer consumer electronics you buy, the less you run the risk of contributing to this problem. Just being frugal helps.
|addtime:2010-9-10 10:41:43 print|
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