Apple iPhone: environmentalists pile on

Everyone else is getting publicity by filing suits over the iPhone, so they may as well too: “Environmentalists have threatened to sue Apple if it does not make its iPhone a “greener” product or tell consumers of the toxins allegedly used in the device’s manufacture. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH), a campaign group based in Oakland, California, said that it would launch legal action in 60 days unless Apple took action.” (Rhys Blakely, Apple faces legal threat over ‘toxic’ iPhone”, Times Online (U.K.), Oct. 17; InfoWorld; ArsTechnica). The CEH is invoking California’s ultra-liberal Prop 65 toxics-warning law, on which see posts here, here, here, etc.

5 Comments

  • If you go to the California DOJ Prop65 website and search for “Plaintiff: Center for Environmental Health”, it returns a whopping 266 matches in the “60 Day Notices”…

    Someone has a hobby, I’d say.

  • When I clicked to read the first news story, I got an iPhone pop-up ad. Irony

  • […] First, a bit of background. In a February 4 post, “The Blame Game“, Rick Woldenberg has laid out the “noose-like” tightness with which the drafters of the CPSIA sought to prevent the CPSC from granting exemptions from the standards; it also provided that liability under the law would not be suspended just because a request for exemption was under consideration. In short, the CPSIA is so drafted as to place many advantages in the hands of consumer groups or other litigants who might wish to challenge an exemption in court. Since the CPSC cannot be sure of having the last word — its attempt to carve out an exemption for pre-Feb. 10 phthalate inventories was just struck down — it would be incautious for producers or retailers to rely overmuch on its policy pronouncements, especially since, while it obviously has some discretion over its own enforcement efforts, it cannot prevent others (like state attorneys general) from bringing their own actions. One of those state AGs, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, just issued a press release crowing over the consumer groups’ phthalate victory and warning retailers, thrift stores presumably included, that “My office will take whatever steps are necessary [emphasis added] to ensure this phthalate ban is enforced.” (Note that while the phthalate ban was often argued for on the basis of the “precautionary principle” — even if no actual harm to humans has been proved, shouldn’t we alter the formulas for making the items to be safe rather than sorry? — Blumenthal & co. now seek to redefine millions of existing playthings in American homes as “toxic toys”.) It should be noted that private activist and lawyer groups often shop potential cases to state AGs’ offices, and in turn are made monetary beneficiaries of resulting fines and settlements (more on California’s CEH here). […]

  • […] From Walter Olson, Overlawyered: Since the CPSC cannot be sure of having the last word — its attempt to carve out an exemption for pre-Feb. 10 phthalate inventories was just struck down — it would be incautious for producers or retailers to rely overmuch on its policy pronouncements, especially since, while it obviously has some discretion over its own enforcement efforts, it cannot prevent others (like state attorneys general) from bringing their own actions. One of those state AGs, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, just issued a press release crowing over the consumer groups’ phthalate victory and warning retailers, thrift stores presumably included, that “My office will take whatever steps are necessary [emphasis added] to ensure this phthalate ban is enforced.” (Note that while the phthalate ban was often argued for on the basis of the “precautionary principle” — even if no actual harm to humans has been proved, shouldn’t we alter the formulas for making the items to be safe rather than sorry? — Blumenthal & co. now seek to redefine millions of existing playthings in American homes as “toxic toys”.) It should be noted that private activist and lawyer groups often shop potential cases to state AGs’ offices, and in turn are made monetary beneficiaries of resulting fines and settlements (more on California’s CEH here). […]

  • […] of resulting fines. See Rite Aid above. CEH – Valentine’s Day Toys Found with High Levels of Lead Apple iPhone: environmentalists pile on CPSIA: What will be enforced? Have not even mentioned the new label and tracking law that will go […]