LOS ANGELES, CA - Photos of
people licking their iPods, iPhones and earbuds have begun to surface on
Flickr, a popular photo sharing website, in what appears to be a bizarre backlash to a
report by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. In the report Dr. Gupta warns that
Apple's iPhone and iPod products contain traces of dangerous chemicals
and that the cord connecting the earbuds to the devices contain
phthalates which may pose a health risk if ingested. Source: CNN
Dr. Gupta also indicated that most of the studies have been done on rodents so it's hard to quantify if these phthalates were something that could pass through skin or if they were something you would have to inhale or ingest to pose a risk. The Center for Environmental Health on Monday said that it has given Apple 60 days' legal notice -- a step required by California law before a lawsuit is launched. Source: InfoWorld
"It's a conspiracy to scare people into not buying iPods and iPhones for Christmas," said Mameek Timov a liquor store owner from Venice Beach, California who believes the report is an attack on the immense popularity of the iPhone. "Who would actually eat their earbuds or put an iPhone inside their mouth for that matter? Has CNN run out of stuff to report?"
Like Mameek Timov, many people we spoke to feel that the potential lawsuit is pure sensationalism aimed at casting a bad light on Apple's most popular products prior to the holiday shopping season. A "Lick My iPod" photo group has formed on Flickr, with 55 members strong, turning a comic spotlight on the absurdity of Dr. Gupta's report. Americans are sending a strong message to the rest of the world that they're not ready to be told what they can eat or what they can lick when it comes to their favorite Apple products. Especially when any real danger to humans is still inconclusive. A clear indicator that battle lines for the Apple faithful are being drawn and the start of a global 'iLicker" photo protest has begun.
"I would never think to eat a snail or the legs off of a frog, but the French think they're a great appetizer. So who's to say that a pair of earbuds sauteed with a little garlic and butter wouldn't make a perfect side dish to a Holiday ham?" said Damon Randweer owner of Cuban Pete's Crazy Eats in Los Angeles.
It's almost certain that the recent reports will be highly contested and draw massive fire once Apple has the opportunity to issue an official response. It may not be long before iPods and iPhones could contain a SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING label that reads: Ingesting or inhaling your iPhone or iPod earbuds may be hazardous to your health. An idea that sounds completely ridiculous.
'So the immediate takeaway is, don’t eat your iPhone or your earbuds?' asked CNN co-anchor John Roberts. 'Or breathe it in,' Gupta replied." Source - CNN. That absurd statement alone on a national news broadcast is saying quite a dangerous mouthful.
Special Report by Ian Fawling