Apple is only a couple of week away from the launch of its iPhone 6 and it is doing some PR exercise to endear itself before the eyes of environmentalists and labor groups. Already troubled by reports that labor rules are flouted in its subsidiary manufacturing unit in China, Apple has banned the use of two chemicals, benzene and n-hexane, in the final assembly stages of the iPhone, iPad and other products. Benzene has been indicted for its carcinogenic properties and n- hexane is also highly toxic for humans.
The two chemicals which have been mentioned are used to make the Apple iPhone 6 screens shiny and glossy. Use of both the chemicals has been banned by Apple in the final stages of the manufacture of iPhone and iPad. The chemicals are potentially harmful to the health of the factory workers where the products are being made.
Apple is only a few weeks away from the launch of iPhone 6 which is the next iteration of its iPhone range. Apple has often faced criticism especially about the poor working conditions ate its manufacturing plants in China where workers have to work for long hours with inadequate remunerations. The ban was not entirely Apple’s idea but Apple was prodded to take the measure when two activist groups, China Labor Watch and Green America, petitioned the company to stop the use of benzene and n-hexane in iPhone production.
Apple has said that it has conducted a four month investigation in all 22 factories and said it did not find any evidence of the two chemicals having an adverse effect on the health of its 500,000 workers in its factories. No traces of the harmful chemical were found in the environment of 18 factories while the traces were in the acceptable range in other four factories.
However Apple as a precautionary measure has asked its subsidiaries to stop using the two chemicals –Benzene and n-hexane in the final stages of manufacture of all its products which include iPod, iPad, and iPhone.