Louie Baur Louie Baur is Editor at Long Beach Louie, a Long Beach Restaurant Review site as well as Skateboard Park. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Apple has banned two harmful chemicals from use in iPhone production

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Apple said Wednesday that its factories would no longer use two chemicals that are potentially hazardous to workers in the assembly of iPhones and iPads. On the heels of a petition earlier this year by two activist groups, Apple moved to ban benzene and n-hexane from final production, the Associated Press reports. Some 500,000 people work on final production at more than 20 factories, primarily in China but also in Brazil, Ireland, Texas and California. The California-based company also lowered the maximum amount of the chemicals that can be present during earlier production phases, which occurs across hundreds of other factories.

Following pressure from activist groups, Apple on Wednesday announced the ban of two potentially hazardous chemicals — n-hexane and benzene — from being used in overseas factories during the final stages of iPhone production. According to a report from the Associated Press, Apple has restricted iPhone partner suppliers in Asia from using the two chemicals as part of the production process, potentially saving workers from permanent damage. The move comes five months after a petition started by China Labor Watch and Green America called for the company to stop using the chemicals as part of iPhone production. Apple says it conducted a four-month investigation into the issue, finding the chemicals did not endanger the roughly 500,000 workers building its products across 22 factories. Despite the study’s conclusion, Apple has decided to remove n-hexane and benzene from the iPhone assembly process. According to the report, benzene can cause leukemia, while n-hexane is a neurotoxin sometimes tied to nerve damage. The application of potentially dangerous chemicals by Apple partner suppliers, specifically Foxconn’s use of n-hexane, gained media attention when entertainer Mike Daisey fabricated claims about workers being exposed to the substance in a critique of working conditions throughout Apple’s supply chain.

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Louie Baur Louie Baur is Editor at Long Beach Louie, a Long Beach Restaurant Review site as well as Skateboard Park. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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