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Chemical industry defends iPhone contents

updated 10:15 am EDT, Mon October 22, 2007

Chem biz defends iPhone

A group representing the chemical industry has announced its support for Apple in defense of new criticisms from Greenpeace, accusing the company of continuing to use toxic chemicals in the construction of the iPhone, reports say. The Bromine Science and Environmental Forum (BSEF) claims foremost that none of the chemicals used are banned under any environmental laws, although Greenpeace points out that phthalates are restricted from use in child products in Europe. BSEF further argues that the brominates in the iPhone are essential, as they protect against fire in an era of self-combusting batteries.

The group's greatest complaint however is that Greenpeace has exaggerated its findings, and is in some instances just wrong. "The Greenpeace report does not say which brominated flame retardants are present in the iPhone because it does not know," a statement accuses. "Therefore, the report speculates about what substances might be present, and raises an alarm without any basis for doing so."

Another claimed example is that the brominated retardants "most likely" found in the iPhone are reactive, binding with other chemicals to form a plastic that keeps them out of the environment. Likewise, BSEF says that European law requires proper disposal of printed circuit boards, and that Greenpeace has proposed no alternative to brominates.

The Center for Environmental Health recently decided to sue Apple over the iPhone's contents, and specifically cited the Greenpeace report, not for mention of brominates but rather for the presence of phtalates in the headphone cables' PVC. Apple is legally required to warn customers of any carcinogens or reproductive toxins, the Center charges.

by MacNN Staff





  1. VinitaBoy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Turn About . . .

    Apple should use this study (and the many to come, I'd wager) to turn the tables on Greenpeace and The Center for Environmental Health and sue the b******* into the Stone Age. Enough of this "holier than thou" environmentalism! The greater good is not their goal: It's the greater POWER.

  1. thinkman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just like everyone

    THANK YOU for this article! I canceled my memberships to both Greenpeace and CEH because of this issue (and the "greening" of the NY Apple Store opening). I told them I still support their legitimate efforts to monitor and react, but that some of their methods and slipshod reporting has lost me as a paying member. Of course, you will never hear an apology from any of these groups.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Greenpeace?? Wrong??

    Wow.. there's a shocker!!

  1. jmonty12

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Greenpeace = Idiots

    I guess that lot of idiots thinks that the public are idiots too. Go after something real, Greenpeace, not just something that will get you in the headlines.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's right

    Greenpeace is wrong! The chemical industry says so! And we know they have no reason to lie!

  1. hokizpokis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    technology wins, *sigh*

    and where would greenpeace be without apple computers?

    save the whales, stop nuclear proliferation, save the planet and buy a greener apple; computers may take some time to clean up just like the other two mantras.

    I stopped using whale oil for my lamps and I have swore off nuclear proliferations but don't make me choose some other 'virus box' because a few toxic chemicals used during production in shanghai...

    If better tech exists then I'd expect a cleaner industry with fewer toxic victims... until then please remember those who've perished due to industrial toxic chem's of days gone by, you know who you are...RIP

  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Always the naysayer, but I have to agree with you on this one. BSEF only has their own interest in mind with this one.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Voice of Reason

    Testudo, has it right again.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    f*** 'em again

    Why doesn't Greenpeace stick an iPhone up their collective asses (don't get excited San Francisco) and leave us all alone?

    They're too busy sucking Algore's wang.

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Greenpeace...raises an alarm without any basis for doing so."

    for the millioth time...

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