CNN Warns Eating Your iPhone May Be Hazardous to Your Health

How do you like your iPod earbud cord – scrambled, sunny-side up or over-easy?

That sounds like a weird question, but apparently CNN’s “American Morning” thinks eating your iPhone or earphone cord is a possibility.

In a segment with an on-screen caption – “IPOD & IPHONE DANGER – CAN THEY HURT YOU?” – CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported that the cord connecting the earbuds to your iPod contain phthalates, according to the litigious Center for Environmental Health.

Phthalates are a substance often used for increasing the flexibility of plastics, but according to an article on, a Web site devoted to news on Apple products, phthalates “may hinder the sexual development of mammals.”

See YouTube video below.

Gupta also reported the environmental extremist group Greenpeace had dismantled an iPhone and found traces of bromides and phthalates. No statement from Apple was included in Gupta’s segment, but he did briefly state that Apple intends to end the use of bromides by the end of 2008.

Gupta didn’t say that using an iPod or an iPhone as intended would be dangerous though.

“[N]ot such good news for Apple there. But again, remember, as we've been talking about, it’s really hard to quantify just how much of a risk these phthalates are,” Gupta said “Most of the studies have been done on animals. There’s not a human trials that actually show that they might be harmful, but a lot of people worried about it nonetheless.”

Gupta also said most of the studies have been done on rodents so he couldn’t say if these chemicals were something that could cross through skin or if they were something you would have to inhale or ingest to pose a risk.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has pledged to stop using these chemicals in their products according to the Macworld Web site.

“So the immediate takeaway is, don’t eat your iPhone or your earbuds?” asked Roberts.

“Or breathe it in,” Gupta replied.

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