[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 9-Nov-2012
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Contact: Christine Westendorf
christinewestendorf@acaai.org
847-427-1200
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

Blackberry vs. iPhone -- There is a winner, for your health

Allergists find a smart choice for those with allergies

ANAHEIM, CA. (November 9, 2012) The Blackberry vs. iPhone battle has been ongoing since Apple's 2007 phone debut, with no end in sight. That is until today. According to a study being presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), there is a clear winner when it comes to your health.

With more than 285 million cell phone subscribers in the United States, ACAAI allergists studied popular smartphones for two common allergens, cobalt and nickel.

"Approximately one-third of all Blackberries contain nickel, but neither cobalt nor nickel was detected in iPhones or Droids," said allergist Tania Mucci, M.D., lead study author and ACAAI member. "Both metals can cause an allergic reaction including dry, itchy patches along the cheek bones, jaw line and ears."

The less popular flip phone models also revealed levels of cobalt and nickel. Roughly 91 percent contained nickel and 52 percent tested positive for cobalt. These metals are commonly used in items such as jewelry, coins and even makeup. Nickel is one of the most common contact allergens, affecting 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men.

"Patients with nickel and cobalt allergies should consider using iPhones or Droids to reduce the chance of having an allergic reaction," said allergist Luz Fonacier, M.D., study author and ACAAI fellow. "Blackberry users with known allergies should avoid prolonged conversations, text messaging and handling their phones if they begin noticing symptoms."

Symptoms of nickel and cobalt allergies can include redness, swelling, itching, eczema, blistering, skin lesions and occasional scarring. For sufferers that are glued to their phones, ACAAI advises opting for plastic phone cases, wireless ear pieces and clear film screens to decrease allergic reactions.

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Information about allergies and asthma can be found at AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org. More news and research from the annual meeting, being held Nov. 8-13, 2012 can be followed via Twitter at #ACAAI.

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 5,700 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit www.AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The ACAAI Press Room is located in Room 304B at the Anaheim Convention Center, Nov. 9-12, 2012. To arrange an interview, please contact Christine Westendorf, ACAAI Media Relations Manager, at 847-427-1200 or ChristineWestendorf@acaai.org



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