Following pressure from two activist groups, Apple has banned two chemicals in “final assembly processes.” According to NBC News, two activist groups launched a petition several months ago calling for the removal of the two chemicals.
China Labor Watch launched a ‘Bad Apple’ petition back in March to protest the use of these chemicals. Green America, an environmental group, also called on Apple to ditch the two chemicals.
The two chemicals in question are benzene and n-hexane. Benzene is a known carcinogen while n-hexane has been linked to nerve damage.
Apple VP of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson wrote the following in a post on Apple’s website. “Apple treats any allegations of unsafe working conditions extremely seriously. We took immediate investigative action, sending specialized teams into each of our 22 final assembly facilities, and found no evidence of workers’ health being put at risk. We’ve updated our tight restrictions on benzene and n-hexane to explicitly prohibit their use in final assembly processes.”
Jackson wrote Apple will “invest in research on new materials and technologies. We’ll assemble a new advisory board composed of leaders in safer chemicals and pollution prevention to advance our efforts to minimize or eliminate toxins from our products and supply.”
She ends the post with this. “We’re committed to removing toxins from our products and processes. Because everyone has the right to a safe product and a safe working environment.”
Bravo to China Labor Watch and Green America for facilitating these changes.