The Center for Environmental Health is taking legal action against Apple, because “the levels of phthalates (a group of chemical compounds… that increase flexibility) in the iPhone are in violation of California law.” They say if the company doesn’t agree to recall current iPhones, they will file suit. [Wired]


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  1. amed01 says:

    Look at my fancy new phone…the iTumor

  2. uricmu says:

    Aren’t the same compounds found in too many “health” products that we daily rub on our bodies anyway?

  3. MercuryPDX says:

    @amed01: It’s not-ah Two-mah…

    I really don’t see people giving these up considering everything they’ve gone through already.

  4. CyGuy says:

    Isn’t this only a concern if you chew on the iPhone?
    Maybe they need to issue an ad like the one for the Nano “Do Not Eat iPhone” ?

    Trying to track down the source of the story I find
    “A mixture of toxic phthalate esters (2) was found to make up 1.5 per cent of the plastic (PVC) coating of the headphone cables. “

    1.5% of the coating of the headphone cables, so that is probably 0.1% of the weight of the entire product? If anything the recall should only apply to the headphones. And based on my reading of the article, the recall would only require that the product include a warning that the substance is used – maybe they would have let people get a refund or replacement headphone cables but I can’t see this breaking Apple.

    Probably of greater concer is this note also from the GreenPeace story [] :

    “During its analysis, Greenpeace also found that the iPhone’s battery was, unusually, glued and soldered in to the handset. This hinders battery replacement and makes separation for recycling, or appropriate disposal, more difficult, and therefore adds to the burden of electronic waste.”

    Not being able to easily replace a battery in a cellphone (or in a computer) is anti-consumer and indicative of planned-obsolescence design. Something you would hope a company trying to green itself would be avoiding.

  5. Antediluvian says:

    It’s not a tumor!

  6. Antediluvian says:

    @Cy Guy: On the other hand, having a soldered-in battery means that consumers aren’t likely to toss the old ones in the garbage, and no one is likely to throw their whole iPhone away when the battery stops working (in spite of Greenpeace’s inferences to the contrary). Same deal with iPods — no user-replaceable batteries, but people don’t toss them when they’re done (except maybe the shuffles).

    It is somewhat anti-consumer because it means you need to pay Apple (a lot of money!) for a battery replacement or void your warranty with a 3rd party option (for a lot less money). But I suspect you’ll see far more iPhone batteries recycled than RAZR batteries.

  7. nweaver says:

    Also, the in-phone battery makes the thing about 2mm thinner, just like the ipods etc.

    Its a tradeoff between form factor and ease of maintinence.

  8. Falconfire says:

    @Cy Guy: They will replace the battery for you, for like 45 bucks which is about the cost of a battery unless you go buy it off the web from one of those 3rd rate dealers, where its hit or miss (I got lucky on two but one barely lasted me a year)

  9. Murph1908 says:

    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.