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Apple sued based on Greenpeace report

updated 03:55 pm EDT, Mon October 15, 2007

Toxic lawsuit hits Apple

The Center for Environmental Health today announced that it is suing Apple over its iPhone cellular handset. The suit is based on a report by Greenpeace, which revealed hazardous materials in the construction of the smartphone. Greenpeace earlier this month announced the results of tests conducted by its UK labs, showing the presence of PVCs and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). The report claims that half of 18 internal and external iPhone parts contain brominated material, including the device's antenna. The suit's demands are as yet unclear.

"There is no reason to have these potentially hazardous chemicals in iPhones," said Michael Green, executive director of Center for Environmental Health. "We expect Apple to reformulate their products to make them safer from cradle to grave, so they don't pose a threat to consumers, workers or the environment."

California's Proposition 65 law requires companies to place a warning label on any product that can expose consumers to phthaltes, reproductive toxins, or carcinogens. Apple's iPhone carries no such label, despite a recent promise to improve its manufacturing methods by abandoning harmful substances over time.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Huh

    Didn't Apple already state they were going to eliminate BFRs and all other hazardous materials by the end of 2008?

    http://www.apple.com/hotnews/agreenerapple/

    This is a pretty stupid pre-emptive lawsuit.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sue the SOBs!

    good god. I think I'm going to sue because buying an iPhone didn't get me laid as often as Steve Jobs implied that it would.

  1. ttrostel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Greenpeace doesn't care

    Greenpeace doesn't seem to care which organization leads the way in recycling and creating a better planet. Yes Apple did vow to remove PVCs and BFRs by the end of 2008.

    The above link is pretty explanatory. A major portion of the scoring Greenpeace does is based on the stated intent of a company, whether they follow through on it or not. The only thing that counts however are physical deeds. If the slate is wiped clean of simple claims, which companies are truly the worst offenders?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ummm

    Did you all miss the trailing paragraph:

    California's Proposition 65 law requires companies to place a warning label on any product that can expose consumers to phthaltes, reproductive toxins, or carcinogens. Apple's iPhone carries no such label, despite a recent promise to improve its manufacturing methods by abandoning harmful substances over time.

    Perhaps they're suing over the fact they didn't label the device properly.

  1. ttrostel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Proposition 65

    Simply stated the law says:

    "Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By providing this information, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water."

    also

    "By law, a warning must be given for listed chemicals unless exposure is low enough to pose no significant risk of cancer or is significantly below levels observed to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm."

    Are the amounts in the iPhone considered enough to pose a significant risk of cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm in this product?

    Apple is probably not in violation of the second clause since they don't release iPhones into the drinking water ;-)

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Bunch of losers

    Desperately seeking attention. A lost lost cause.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    LOL

    Leave it to Testudo to be the voice of stating what should be the obvious. The lawsuit is about Apple allegedly breaking the law by not putting a label on its product. The law either requires Apple to do this or it doesn't. If Apple didn't when it should have, then guess what? Apple broke the law. However, if the law uses the word "significantly" as suggested above. Apple will argue that the amount is not significant.

    I do not know about you guys, but I would actually prefer my products containing hazardous chemicals to be labeled as such. I find it hard to believe anybody would disagree with that.

  1. ttrostel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Lead, Mercury, Lithium et

    You're of course right Terrin. It would be nice if people were a bit more aware of what products we have that contain potentially dangerous or toxic substances. Unfortunately given the world we are in that would end up labeling almost everything we use.

    We need to be more aware of our surroundings. You know those florescent light bulbs you have? Guess what ... a lot of them have Mercury in them. Batteries have mercury too .. or at least a large number of them. Television sets and CRT tubes as well as many other items have lead in them. A lot of the more advanced batteries contain lithium. We toy constantly with flammable alcohol and petrochemical substances. Do we label them all also?

    In the end I believe that Apple has not violated the law. I also believe that they are sincere when they stated their goal of eliminating said substances by the end of 2008. If that date should come to pass and they are still present ... then we can take issue with them for not being true to their word.

    If you would like all products to be labeled if they contain potentially hazardous substances in small quantities then it may be more advantageous to modify the law to make that requirement clearer. We need to be quite specific in seperating obvious dangers (like don't hold your head under water) from things which may be subtle ... like poly dichloral benzene or DDT ... just plain bad stuff. Thats not going to be an easy or a simple job. One thing however seems to be perfectly clear. We need to make sure we aren't punishing those companies who are taking an active role in trying to COMPLY with regulations and are acting responsibly.

    I suppose in a way ... let no good deed go unpunished? :-) Because of their pro-environment stance they seem to be attracting more criticism lately than praise.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    f*** the greeners

    Why doesn't somebody tell Greenpeace to go f*** themselves? They're as bad as the ACLU when it comes to poking their noses in where nobody asked for it.

  1. benj

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Love the greeners

    It's not just Apple- Greenpeace is milking all they can from such a high profile "left-wing" company, (not my opinion- but with Al Gore on board (on the board) that's what the appearance is)in this get maximum publicity for the're "greening" efforts. Green compliance is very topical these days-in case you didn't notice- and even though Greenpeace is obnoxious and unctuous at the same time, it's been way too long for corps and the government not to address these issues. btw, without the ACLU, I guess it would be ok for the government to randomly investigate you, lower your wages, tell you to shut up and then jail you if you don't. We need LOUD voices protesting stuff (even stuff you might not agree with) if you want to live in a democracy.

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