Many are unaware of how their iPhone is built, let alone the chemicals that production workers are exposed to as it's made. Two hazardous substances, benzene and n-hexane, have been removed in final manufacturing stages as part of Apple Inc.'s efforts to protect workers' health.
The decision comes after a four-month investigation into Apple's 22 final assembly facilities. The electronics giant had also been facing pressure from activist groups who have urged for the discontinuation of these chemicals. Traces of benzene and n-hexane were found at four of the factories, but are said to fall within the guidelines for acceptable chemical levels.
Whether or not the presence of these substances meets certain standards, they pose serious health risks when not handled properly. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), benzene is linked to leukemia and exposure to n-hexane can cause nerve damage. The chemicals are frequently found in materials used to clean the electronics before they are shipped.
"Greater transparency like we are seeing from Apple will help drive a bigger discussion on replacement or elimination of chemicals from the manufacturing supply chain…" said Gary Cook, a Greenpeace technology analyst. Mr. Cook hopes that Apple's new rules will pressure other electronics companies to adopt similar courses of action.
Companies are supposed to protect you from exposure to harmful chemicals. Too often however, product and workplace safety monitoring fails to occur. If dangerous chemicals in a product injured you, you may have a case.
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“Apple Bans Use of 2 Chemicals in iPhone Assembly.” ABC News. August 13, 2014.