Apple bans hazardous materials from iPhone and iPad construction

Apple has moved to protect manufacturing workers from dangerous materials

Apple has banned the use of two potentially hazardous chemicals from the final build of its devices, after claims that some workers may have been at risk.

Apple’s environmental director Lisa Jackson wrote that the firm is investigating claims that dangerous chemicals – benzene and n-hexane – were possibly being used to produce its products.

“Recently, we received some questions about whether the chemicals benzene and n-hexane are used in the manufacturing of our products. Apple treats any allegations of unsafe working conditions extremely seriously,” she wrote.

The investigation of 22 assembly facilities used by Apple found no evidence that workers were at risk, Jackson wrote, but she said rules on the use of these chemicals has been tightened.

“We’ve updated our tight restrictions on benzene and n-hexane to explicitly prohibit their use in final assembly processes. Eliminating the risks from toxic substances in the products we all use has always been a passion of mine, and today it is one of our top three environmental priorities here at Apple.”

The move was welcomed by environmental group Green America, although it said that Apple and other device firms need to do more to ensure the use of such dangerous chemicals is banned throughout all elements of the supply chain.

Elizabeth O’Connell, campaigns director at Green America, said: “This announcement and the preceding investigation shows that Apple listens to its customers. However, Apple needs to go further to create a safe environment at all factories in their supply chain for the health and safety of all 1.5 million workers.”

Specifically the group said Apple must do more testing for the use of dangerous chemicals, increase medical monitoring of workers and improve training and management in facilities so staff are aware of the dangers.

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15 August 2014 | 9:20 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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