Apple has banned two harmful chemicals, benzene and n-hexane used for cleaning screens that can endanger Chinese iPhone assemblers at its production facilities.
The two chemicals are known to cause nerve damage and paralysis are also used in coating electronic components in iPhones, iPads,iPods and Mac’s. The chemicals are still in use in other assemblies and Apple is under pressure to remove it entirely. The chemicals are used in solvents. The announcement was made on Wednesday after Apple’s move to protect its workers in assemblies.
China labor watch and groups in America had lobbied for removing the two harmful chemicals in the past five months. Apple is likely to use the chemicals during the early stages of manufacture, the use of the chemicals is set to be reduced. Benzene is known to cause disease of the blood and blood tissue and n-hexane causes nerve damage, according to United States Environmental Protection Agency. Apple is expected to bring down the use of the chemicals in its future and present products which were widely used earlier.
The chemicals were used specifically in four production lines out of the 22 industrial facilities when Apple conducted a four-month examination involving 500,000 workers. Despite discovering the health concerns, the company continues with the chemical use. After a boycott for Apple’s ignorance on workers living conditions, low wages, and extended time periods, the company has been reviewing working conditions and ensuring fair working conditions for the workers.
Chinese workers had also complained of health issues in 2011 after 137 workers were exposed to n-hexane in 2009 and asked Apple’s help in treatment.
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