Greenpeace Deems iPhone "Toxic"
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 16 October 2007 11:31
Greenpeace Deems iPhone "Toxic"
Jason Mick (Blog) - October 16, 2007 9:04 AM
Apple faces another big lawsuit

As if the two class action suits for "iBricking," iFires and a constant stream of negative publicity about its war against unlockers weren't bad enough for Cupertino-based Apple Inc., now the firm has to contend with a new shark, which has jumped in the water looking to take a bite out of the firm.

Apple's problems started with environmental protection agency Greenpeace issuing a report (PDF) finding the iPhone not up to snuff with its standards of responsible technology.

The irony is that the iPhone showed no traces of cadmium or mercury, typical causes for violation. While the iPhone appears to have met EU and U.S. environmental standards, it did not meet those of Greenpeace. Greenpeace found trace amounts of lead and other carcinogenic compounds in the device.

Lead is a carcinogen and can cause brain damage. Despite a large amount of medical evidence, only one state, California, recognize lead based solders to be carcinogenic.

Greenpeace also was not happy with the glued and soldered battery which made disposal difficult to impossible. They felt this would hurt recycling efforts for the phone's batteries. Many supermarkets and communities across the U.S. have phone collection bins which they use to collect and recycle the materials in used phone batteries.

Also, the iPhone was found to contain bromine additives, which could be hazardous if burned or exposed to water. Its polyvinyl chloride PVC plastic contains large amounts of chlorine, which is thought to be possibly carcinogenic and harmful to health if ingested. The PVC plastic used is banned for use in children's toys in Europe, but is widely used in the U.S.

Greenpeace's findings were based on experimental deconstruction and chemical testing at its laboratory facilities in Exeter, U.K.

"Apple is not making early progress toward its 2008 commitment to phase out all uses of these materials, even in entirely new product lines. If Apple really wants to reinvent the phone, it needs to design out all hazardous substances and materials from its handsets and peripherals," said Greenpeace in a statement.

Following the announcement, Steve Jobs poked fun at the report, in a note on Apple's website stating:
"I hope you are as delighted as I was when I first learned how far along Apple actually is in removing toxic chemicals from its products and recycling its older products."

He might not be laughing anymore. Apple's possible environmental hazards have resulted in a new lawsuit by an environmental and consumer protection group, the Center for Environmental Health (CEHCA).

The suit specifically points to the use phthalates, toxic chlorine compounds, in the PVC on the iPhone and iPod's earbuds. The compound is banned for use in children's toys in San Fransisco and Europe. These compounds are level 2 toxins with respect to reproduction. They can damage and interference in the sexual development of mammals, which can manifest in a broad array of physiological problems.... More   Comment in the forums

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