Apple bans use of two potentially dangerous chemicals in iPhone and iPad assembly

Foxconn Apple

Five months ago, China Labor Watch and Green America, began a petition to get Apple to stop using a pair of chemicals in the assembly of their iPhones and iPads. Apple has agreed to make those necessary changes.

In a report published by The Associated Press, Apple has agreed to ban the use of two potentially dangerous chemicals, benzene and n-hexane, in the final assembly of its iPhone and iPad lineups:

The decision announced Wednesday comes five months after the activist groups China Labor Watch and Green America launched a petition drive calling on Apple Inc. to abandon the use of benzene and n-hexane in the production of iPhones.

Apple investigated 22 different factories in the span of four months, and found that both benzene and n-hexane were not dangerous to the 550,000 employees who work at the plants, based on the way the devices are constructed (and not the chemicals themselves). Benzene has been linked to cause leukemia, and n-hexane has reportedly been the root cause of nerve damage. Apple’s ban of the chemicals is a step in making sure that employees are not in danger in the future.

This decision will probably not play a role in the assembly of the iPhone 6 or next-generation iPads, at least not at first. However, as assembly continues, the chemicals will be phased out due to the ban.

[via The Associated Press]