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iPhone, a rotten apple: Greenpeace

Posted: 17 Oct 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:hazardous substance  iPhone  Greenpeace report 

The iPhone is one rotten Apple [product], claims Greenpeace, after uncovering two kinds of hazardous substances in the much-hyped mobile phone.

Results from tests performed by Greenpeace in its U.K. Research Laboratories revealed that the iPhone contains toxic brominated compounds (indicating the presence of brominated flame retardants (BFRs)) and hazardous PVC. The findings are detailed in the report Missed call: the iPhone's hazardous chemicals.

An independent scientific laboratory also tested 18 internal and external components of the iPhone and confirmed the presence of brominated compounds in half the samples, including in the phone's antenna, in which they made up 10 per cent of the total weight of the flexible circuit board. A mixture of toxic phthalates was found to make up 1.5 per cent of the PVC coating of the headphone cables.

Moreover, the disassembling of the iPhone's battery was, unusually, glued and soldered into the handset. This, according to Greenpeace, hinders battery replacement and makes separation for recycling, or appropriate disposal, more difficult, and therefore adds to the burden of electronic waste.

"Steve Jobs has missed the call on making the iPhone his first step towards greening Apple's products," said Zeina Alhajj, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner. "It seems that Apple is far from leading the way for a green electronics industry as competitors, like Nokia, already sell mobile phones free of PVC."

Early this year, Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. CEO, detailed plans for a "greener" Apple,emphasising that the company is working on removing toxic chemicals in all its products.

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