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IRE Radio Podcast | Mobile Tech, Human Cost

If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re affected by the topic of our show today. The phone, computer or tablet you’re using to play this episode is likely powered by a lithium-ion battery. And one of the main ingredients in those batteries is cobalt. Much of our cobalt comes from the Congo, where miners often dig by hand in unsafe conditions to find and sell the valuable mineral. On this episode, Washington Post journalists Todd Frankel, Michael Chavez and Jorge Ribas discuss their work in the Congo and explain how they tracked the supply chain back to the U.S.

You can find the podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. If you have a story you think we should feature on the show, drop us a note at We’d love to hear from you.



Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week's podcast? We've collected them for you.

Want to listen to a show highlighted in our 50th episode promotion? Here are the stories we included (in the order they are featured):



Blake Nelson reported this story and illustrated our episode artwork. Daniela Vidal is our host. IRE Web Editor Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.



Wisteria (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Ash and Mirage (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 43.0

Drch (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

The Summit (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Awanee (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Mercurial Vision (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Weathervane (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

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