Greenpeace Not Happy with iPhone

Greenpeace-Sept07
figure 1: Greenpeace currently gives Apple a 5.3 out of 10 as their environmental score.

On the same week that notable Apple board member Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize, Apple gets excoriated by Greenpeace on the presence of Toxic Chemicals in the iPhone.

Chemical Phthalates (yes, I spelled that right) are found in the outer plastic of the iPhone's earbud headsets, which means that you probably don't want to hook your baby to the earbuds. Phthalates apparently interfere with reproduction; the chemicals are banned from childrens toys in Europe. They are not banned from electronics, however.

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p> In addition to the toxic phthalates, brominated compounds are present on a significant portion of the iPhone's circuit board. Circuit board makers include bromine as a fire retardant, but bromine is toxic when converted to a gas and inhaled and functions as an acid when it comes into contact with human skin as a liquid. Liquid is bromine's natural metallic state at room temperature. Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is also present in the iPhone's materials.

"With next month's European launch of the iPhone, Apple should sell a version which is at least as green as the offerings from Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola"
"[Apple] has committed to eliminate all uses of PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in its products by the end of 2008"

So suffice to say, iPhone 2.0 won't suffer from these environmental deficiencies. If you want to read Greenpeace's entire report on Apple, it is available here. If instead you'd prefer Greenpeace's report on the iPhone, that is also available. Apple will get hammered on this position until they're ahead of the pack. Even then, I'll predict that their environmental shortcomings will be bigger news than their competitors successes. [via]

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