Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Greenpeace reports hazardous materials in iPhone

When I was in the USA in June I blogged jokingly about iPhone envy as some of my colleagues were proudly displaying their new iPhones. The way the marketing was handled, the price reduction for late adopters, and now I glad that the iPhone has just made it to the Southern Hemisphere? Maybe.

There is a buzz of discussion on the web right now over the hazardous materials that Greenpeace reports it has found in the iPhone. The posting on the Greenpeace blog discusses that "tests uncovered 2 types of hazardous substances, which have already been eliminated by other mobile phone makers."

The report stated the iPhone contained toxic brominated compounds and hazardous PVC. Detailed report available for download PDF.

The report continues stating that "two of the phtalate plasticisers found in high levels in the headphone cable are classified in Europe as 'toxic to reproduction, category 2' because of their long-recognized ability to interfere with sexual development in mammals." These substances have been banned from use in "toys or childcare articles in Europe."

Another part of the "green report" reports that the battery is glued and soldered in to the handset, making it difficult for consumers to replace the battery or proper recycling after use.

The report states that competitors Nokia is totally PVC free and Motorola and Sony Ericsson have products on the market that have BFR free components.

Nokia and Sony Ericsson have a "global take-back policy and accept responsibility for reuse and recycling of phones they manufacture."

How often do consumers investigate a technology purchase? Can ones health be affected by what they carry around on their body or bring into their home or office?

Should education institutions investigate the "green" aspect of technology products prior to purchase?

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