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Greenpeace report on iPhone leads to lawsuit

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, October 15, 2007
News Categories: iPhone

Greenpeace has posted a new report [PDF Link] claiming that the iPhone contains hazardous substances, and findings in the report have led to a lawsuit against Apple. According to research performed by Greenpeace’s Research Laboratories in the UK, the iPhone contains toxic brominated compounds (indicating the presence of brominated flame retardants (BFRs)) and hazardous PVC. “Apple missed a key opportunity when it rolled out the iPhone in June. 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,” said Rick Hind of Greenpeace.

Afterwards, The Center for Environmental Health announced that it is suing Apple based on research found in the Greenpeace report. According to the Center, California’s Proposition 65 law states that products exposing consumers to phthalates or other chemicals known to be reproductive toxins or carcinogens must carry a warning label. The iPhone does not. “In general what we try to do is encourage the manufacturers through a negotiated settlement to reduce the use of these chemicals,” said Caroline Cox, spokeswoman for the Center for Environmental Health. “That would be our goal with Apple.”

In May, Apple CEO Steve Jobs penned an update, “A Greener Apple”, focusing on Apple’s environmental efforts, in which he said: “Apple plans to completely eliminate the use of PVC and BFRs in its products by the end of 2008.” [via MacWorld]

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Comments

1

well, I was just in my phone, and printed on the inside was “pB free.” I guess the chinese were out of lead that day. wink

That said, Greenpeace are a bunch of nutters.

Cheers

Posted by Rick on October 15, 2007 at 2:54 PM (PDT)

2

Ok, Greenpeace is just getting annoying right now. They are butting in where they shouldn’t butt in. They are being, as FSJ would call them, Greentards.

Posted by Bill on October 15, 2007 at 3:24 PM (PDT)

3

Man, this is really unusual timing.

Today I completed a call and my face started to itch, and my nipples fell right off my chest.

Thank God this will be resolved in the halls of jurisprudence.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on October 15, 2007 at 4:03 PM (PDT)

4

Greenpeace’s ship busted up
a coral reef. Now did any one sue them?

Posted by John on October 15, 2007 at 5:08 PM (PDT)

5

So last May, Jobs said they’d get rid of the stuff out of their products by the end of 2008… Greenpeace must only want to read and litigate selectively because of Apple’s high profile.

Talk about riding on coattails.
What next?
Some set themselves on fire in front of an Apple store with an iPod in the shirt pocket and it’s front page EVERYWHERE in the world.

Posted by will_bc on October 15, 2007 at 7:23 PM (PDT)

6

How many of the Greenpeace people do you think drive SUVs or other gas-guzzling vehicles?

Posted by Lauren Glenn on October 15, 2007 at 7:36 PM (PDT)

7

I remember living in California and voting against Prop 65.  Once it passed anyway, they put those signs on everything from fences to other useful items. 

Anything I bought in the store that had this, they told me, “You know that has carcinogens in it.”  I told him “Since Prop 65 passed, what doesn’t?”

Lauren

Posted by Lauren Glenn on October 15, 2007 at 7:38 PM (PDT)

8

hehe. Clash of the hippies.

Posted by PCBoy on October 15, 2007 at 8:59 PM (PDT)

9

I love how people are anti greenpeace when it steps on their consumer electricals - some of the comments you guys make are hilariously stupid:

“Ok, Greenpeace is just getting annoying right now”

Yeah screw the planet if it gets in the way of my shiny new iphone! /sarcasm

Stop being such obvious fanboys!

Posted by Dan on October 16, 2007 at 12:40 AM (PDT)

10

Butting in where they shouldn’t? On materials that cause cancer and severe reproductive and developmental problems? If a company is using those materials, there should be a very swift ‘butting in’ and the idea that you guys wouldn’t care about that is utterly short-sighted.

You only have to look at iPhone figures to know why this is a big deal. It’s not like they only produced three of them.

Posted by BeefJerky on October 16, 2007 at 1:39 AM (PDT)

11

Heh, Greentards. I like that.

Posted by Tom on October 16, 2007 at 4:20 AM (PDT)

12

If this article was about the Zune everyone here would be bashing Microsoft. However, since Apple can do no wrong Greenpeace gets the bashing. I love reading these comment threads.

Posted by Brownie on October 16, 2007 at 6:13 AM (PDT)

13

I think Brownie’s comment really puts this into perspective.

Posted by urbanslaughter on October 16, 2007 at 7:04 AM (PDT)

14

first, to Dan, i cannot speak for everyone else but i have never been a fan of greenpeace. all greenpeace does is give d-list actors and old hippies something to do.

as for Brownie, you might be right, DUH this is a site dedicated to iPods nit Zunes. don’t like don’t read it and don’t post!

Posted by hydra-calm on October 16, 2007 at 9:22 AM (PDT)

15

What the hell is a “Zune”?

Posted by Flippy Hambone on October 16, 2007 at 9:42 AM (PDT)

16

If it were up to Greenpeace we’d all be wearing grass skirts and riding donkeys. It’s so sad and ridiculous what these people butt into…

Posted by RNB in Bakersfield, CA on October 16, 2007 at 10:21 AM (PDT)

17

Hydra-calm, you didn’t like what Brownie posted - what happened to don’t read it and don’t post?

The fact that guys have a one in two chance of getting cancer as is means there’s a pretty high likelihood that you may end up eating your words while in chemo. Hopefully not. While I’m not into the grass skirts, anything that can reduce harmful products has to be a good thing and Apple are well capable of not just falling in line (as they are already planning to do) but leading the pack as they do with so many other aspects. I hope they rise to the challenge.

Posted by BeefJerky on October 16, 2007 at 12:19 PM (PDT)

18

Why doesn’t greenpeace object to the use of mobile phones in general. The amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere during production and use (think about the energy-savings and reductions in co2 emissions that could be made without nearly everybody on this planet charging at least one of those little monsters every day)is incredible. (is al gore using them, by the way?) This is where the discussion should really start. Fair enough - if it poses a threat to the individual’s health, they could let us know as a decent gesture. But who cares whether these chemicals are contained in low-grade circuit boards used to manufacture cheap laptops, etc?
I would suggest to stop blowing things out of proportion.

Posted by matkausch on October 16, 2007 at 4:05 PM (PDT)

19

to BeefJerky, my comment as to don’t read it don’t post is to Brownie’s gripe of fan biys and to what does she expect from an iPod users site.

as far as your statement about a 1 in 2 chance of getting cancer, i would love to know your resources. as even smoking doesn’t have those odds. also i don’t own an iPhone but if i did you can be sure that i am not going to take it apart and start scratching up the insides.

Posted by hydra-calm on October 16, 2007 at 4:51 PM (PDT)

20

Hydra-Calm, here’s one Canadian source that puts it at 44% for Canadian men - http://newsletter.cancerresearchsociety.ca/bulletin/omni/articles/12707.aspx

It’s slightly higher in the US. Here’s one page that’s about a whole different issue that puts it as 48% - http://www.doh.wa.gov/Hanford/publications/overview/risk.html

It’s tricky to find general statistics online because most sites are focussed on specific cancers like breast cancers or prostate cancer. But you could have this verified by local cancer societies or your doctor if you’re interested. The chances of developing cancer in your lifetime as a man are 1 in 2. 1 in 3 if you’re a woman.

As far as I know the good news is that cancer death rates are falling due to better diagnosis and treatment. It’s still not the best experience in the world to have it though, eh?

Posted by BeefJerky on October 17, 2007 at 12:28 AM (PDT)

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