updated 12:20 pm EST, Fri January 13, 2012
Apple business motivating factor
Cable maker Volex is switching to halogen-free power cables this year because of its primary customer, Apple, reports say. Burning halogen can result in the release of dioxins and furans, although the chemicals are only said to be a serious concern during the disposal process. Volex supplies both USB and power cables to Apple for products such as iPhones and iPads.
Volex states that designing and producing halogen-free cables will cost it up to $6 million in the current fiscal year. Without those expenses the company expects its profits to stay in line with market expectations.
In the past few years Apple has worked to improve its "green" image. Mostly this has involved eliminating toxins from its electronics, such as lead, arsenic, mercury, PVC, and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). It has also become somewhat more aggressive about recycling, but at the same time has taken flak for being less active in reducing greenhouse gases. The company is tackling the matter to some extent by moving toward solar power at its North Carolina datacenter and its future Cupertino headquarters.