Well this didn't really spark my interest because I obviously have a complete disregard of my own personal health . . . but since about everyone has requested that I post it in news here it is
Environmental group Greenpeace on Monday announced that it had found hazardous materials in Apple’s iPhone. The group commissioned the tests on the iPhone to measure both internal and external components.
According to Greenpeace the tests revealed chemicals that included “phthalates” in the vinyl plastic earphone wiring at levels that are prohibited in young children’s toys in San Francisco and the European Union (EU).
The test also found brominated compounds in half the samples, which can create dioxin when burned, according to the study. The compounds comprised 10 percent of the total weight of the flexible circuit board in the iPhone, the group said.
“Apple missed a key opportunity when it rolled out the iPhone in June,” said Rick Hind of Greenpeace. “There is no reason why the iPhone could not have been made without toxins like vinyl plastics and brominated flame retardants as Nokia is already doing.”
Apple representatives were not immediately available to comment.
Greenpeace also said the battery in the iPhone was glued and soldered to the handset. This will make battery replacement difficult for consumers and further undermine recycling of the iPhone when it is discarded, the group said.
The environmental group has made Apple a frequent target of its activities. In August 2006, Greenpeace scolded Apple for its environmental policies in a quarterly report on how companies deal with hazardous chemicals, recycling and take-back policies. It also launched a Web site critical of Apple last December and staged demonstrations at this year’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
For its part, Apple has had little comment on Greenpeace’s activities. However, in May, CEO Steve Jobs published an open letter, outlining his company’s plans to remove toxic chemicals from its products. In June, Apple’s updated MacBook Pro line featured models that included mercury-free, LED-backlit displays that are more environmentally friendly than the cold cathode florescent lamp technology used in previous laptops.
Man, Apple just can't catch a break, evironmentally speaking. In addition to receiving thorough tongue lashing from Greenpeace about potentially hazardous chemicals in the iPhone, the Center for Environmental Health upped the stakes on Monday and said it will actually be initiating legal action against the Cupertino company. According to spokesperson Charles Margulis, the levels of phthalates (a group of chemical compounds that are mainly used as "plasticizers," i.e., substances that increase flexibility) in the iPhone are in violation of California law, specifically Proposition 65.
Also known as "Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986," the act says that businesses can't expose consumers to toxic chemicals without warning them of that exposure, explains Caroline Cox, another CEH spokesperson. The state prepares a list of those toxic chemicals that apply spefically to Proposition 65, Cox says, and while it's constantly updated, one of the things it does specify is what's known as a safe harbor level.
"If you fall above that level, you're in violation," Cox says. "Basically, what we're saying in our notice of violation [to Apple] is that [the phone] exposes a user to a level above that."
The CEH says that, as it does in all legal procedures involving Proposition 65, it has issued Apple a 60 day notice of violation. "Our goal is not just to warn but reduce hazardous chemicals," Cox explains. "In that sense, we always try to negotiate a settlement with companies and we would hope to do that in this case."
Apple did not immediately respond to our requests for comment, but here's a previous statement (.pdf) from Jobs about the company's commitment to Greening itself up.
If Apple does not enter into a binding agreement to both recall the iPhones its already sold, as well as provide clear and reasonable warnings for future shipped iPhones, the CEH says it will file a citizen enforcement lawsuit -- which would allow impacted citizens to be full participants in the litigation and the resulting negotiation and settlement process.