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10/15/2007
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Apple iPhone Contains 'Hazardous' Chemicals, Greenpeace Charges

The group said the iPhone contains chlorinated plastic polyvinyl chloride and "brominated flame retardants" that can be harmful to the environment.

The environmental advocacy group Greenpeace says Apple's new iPhone contains a number of hazardous chemicals that could become significant pollutants.

"Apple is not making early progress toward its 2008 commitment to phase out all uses of these materials, even in entirely new product lines," Greenpeace said in a report published Monday.

The group said the iPhone, which Apple introduced earlier this year amid considerable hype, contains chlorinated plastic polyvinyl chloride and "brominated flame retardants" that can be harmful to the environment.

Greenpeace acknowledged, however, that the iPhone does comply with European rules prohibiting the use of other chemicals or metals in certain products, including lead, cadmium, mercury, and chromium.

But Greenpeace said that's not enough. "If Apple really wants to reinvent the phone, it needs to design out all hazardous substances and materials from its handsets and peripherals," the group said.

Greenpeace said its findings come after it "carefully deconstructed" an iPhone at its research laboratory in Exeter, U.K.

The report could become a public relations problem for Apple, which has touted its commitment to green technologies. The company has gone so far as to establish a special page called "A Greener Apple" on its Web site to trumpet its use of Earth-friendly components in its products.

"I hope you are as delighted as I was when I first learned how far along Apple actually is in removing toxic chemicals from its products and recycling its older products," company CEO Steve Jobs wrote in a message on the site.

Apple officials didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

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