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Apple Bans Two Hazardous Chemicals From Final iPhone Assembly Process

Apple announced today that it is banning the use of benzene and n-hexande, two potentially hazardous chemicals, during final assembly for both iPhone and iPad, according to the Associated Press. Benzene is a carcinogen that has been linked to leukemia when not handled properly and n-hexane has been linked to nerve damage.

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The decision announced Wednesday comes five months after the activist groups China Labor Watch and Green America launched a petition drive calling on Apple Inc. to abandon the use of benzene and n-hexane in the production of iPhones.
The Cupertino company conducted a four-month investigation at 22 factories and found no evidence that either benzene or n-hexane endangered the 500,000 workers at those factories. Four of the factories had traces of the two chemicals at "acceptable safety levels" while the other 18 contained no trace of either.

Still, Apple decided to order its suppliers to stop using the two chemicals for final assembly for iPhones, iPads, Macs, iPods and accessories. The factories will also be required to test all substances to make sure the chemicals aren't present, even if they're not listed in the ingredients. The two chemicals are often found in cleaner used on machinery and electronics.

However, Apple will still allow benzene and n-hexane at plants responsible for the early production phase of its devices, which are, for the most part, different from the final assembly plants. Apple is lowering the maximum amount of the two chemicals that can be used during early processes.

Lisa Jackson, Apple's VP of environmental initiatives, told the AP that the company wanted to be "responsive to concerns" and "crack down on chemical exposures".
"We think it's really important that we show some leadership and really look toward the future by trying to use greener chemistries."
The two chemicals aren't exclusively used by Apple's manufacturing processes, as other large tech companies have faced the same criticisms. Small traces of benzene can also be found in gasoline, cigarettes, paints, glues and more.

Top Rated Comments

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11 weeks ago

So what's the alternative chemical used for end process now?


mayonnaise.
Rating: 35 Votes
11 weeks ago
Less Hazardous Chemicals = Happy Customers.
Good job Apple.
Rating: 7 Votes
11 weeks ago

So what's the alternative chemical used for end process now?


Love.
Rating: 5 Votes
11 weeks ago
Good on Apple, but I'm sure that won't stop people from complaining about why they didn't do this years ago. Some might even complain that they didn't do this before Apple existed at all just to have an excuse to bash them about it. :rolleyes:
Rating: 4 Votes
11 weeks ago

Benzene is a carcinogen that has been linked to leukemia when not handled properly and n-hexane has been linked to nerve damage.


That's great news, good job Apple!
Rating: 4 Votes
11 weeks ago

Good on Apple, but I'm sure that won't stop people from complaining about why they didn't do this years ago. Some might even complain that they didn't do this before Apple existed at all just to have an excuse to bash them about it. :rolleyes:


Less Hazardous Chemicals = Healthier Employees

It's about time, Apple.


26 minutes it took. Not bad! :rolleyes:
Rating: 4 Votes
11 weeks ago
Two chemicals in any college-level chem lab. Oh, the horror!

Ps it's probably n-hexane, not n-hexande
Rating: 3 Votes
11 weeks ago

That's great news, good job Apple!


This is one of the main reasons my next phone will be an iphone 6 and not a Galaxy s5.

Thanks apple for raising the bar.!!

I don't mind if your products are expensive I care that you give to my money a good use.!!

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I can't understand why Apple spend money on this? None of android makers do this but they sell well. :p


But for your consideration this the renewable and a few leaks I have read are the main reason why I and few of my coworkers will buy an iphone 6. I don't think we are a lot but we have share our mind with a few others.

I like to read and help companies who do this kind of things.!!

=)

Cheers.!!
Rating: 3 Votes
11 weeks ago
You guys are funny

You have no freakin idea what those chemicals are but you love it.
Rating: 3 Votes
11 weeks ago

So what's the alternative chemical used for end process now?


Probably toluene (methyl benzene). It's less toxic, but still not great.

I try to avoid benzene where possible, but sometimes it really is the best solvent for the job. If you're just degreasing components though, there are lots of less dangerous aromatic solvents you can use.

source: I am a chemist.
Rating: 3 Votes

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