updated 05:30 pm EDT, Mon October 15, 2007
Details of Apple/CEH suit
More details have emerged regarding the Center for Environmental Health's lawsuit against Apple over hazardous materials allegedly included with the iPhone. The suit is based on a Greenpeace report from earlier this month that shows the presence of PVCs and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in the handheld. Specifically, the CEH complaint alleges that the iPhone headphone cables contain DEHP (Di-ethylhexyl Phthalate) and DBP (Di-n-butyl Phthalate). CEH says that usage of the headphones results in human exposure via dermal absorption directly through the skin, ingestion via hand to mouth contact after touching or using the product, and ingestion when consumers "place the products in their mouths during normal use."
CEH cites California's Proposition 65 law, under which products that can expose consumers to phthalates or other chemicals that are reproductive toxins or carcinogens must carry a warning label. The iPhone carries no such alert label, with CEH stating "No clear and reasonable warning is provided with these products regarding the carcinogenic or reproductive hazards of DEHP or DBP."
In the violation complaint, CEH threatens to file a citizen enforcement lawsuit against Apple unless the company enters into a binding written agreement to recall iPhones already sold, provide clear and reasonable warnings for future shipped iPhones, and pay an appropriate civil penalty.