The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Apple Removes Two Toxic Chemicals From iPhone and iPad Manufacturing Process
Sometimes friendly persuasion works.
Apple has listened to the concerns of worker rights and green economy advocacy groups, announcing this week that it has banned a pair of potentially toxic chemicals from its production lines in China.
According to Greenpeace International:
"Apple announced a new commitment to tackle hazardous chemicals in its manufacturing supply chain. This included a ban on two dangerous chemical substances—benzene and n-hexane—often used in cleaning agents. This news comes after months of public pressure, including a petition from China Labor Watch and Green America who called on Apple to address concerns about worker safety in its product supply chain."
In addition, Apple became one of the largest companies to make public its Regulated Substances Specification, a list of restricted substances for suppliers. The list encourages companies to speed up reducing and eliminating hazardous substances.
Green America's Bad Apple: End Smartphone Sweatshop campaign FAQ explains their concerns:
"Smartphones, like many electronics, are regularly made in factories where workers do not have adequate training or protective gear for handling toxic substances. Exposure to dangerous chemicals can lead to cancer, leukemia, nerve damage, liver and kidney failure, and reproductive health issues, depending on the chemical and level of exposure. Apple must commit to eliminating benzene and other chemicals known to be harmful to human health from its supply chain to prevent more workers from losing their lives or livelihoods because of occupational illnesses from making iPhones."
The group responded to this week's announcement from Apple with cautious optimism.
"This announcement and the preceding investigation shows that Apple listens to its customers," said Green America's Elizabeth O'Connell. "However, Apple needs to go further to create a safe environment at all factories in their supply chain for the health and safety of all 1.5 million workers."
Green America is continuing to press Apple to monitor and disclose all the chemicals used in its manufacturing process, including those used by other companies in its supply chain.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Carey Gillam
For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer.
The last 50 years have been brutal for wildlife. Animals have lost their habitats and seen their numbers plummet. Now a new report from a British conservation group warns that habitat destruction and increased pesticide use has on a trajectory for an "insect apocalypse," which will have dire consequences for humans and all life on Earth, as The Guardian reported.
By Jake Johnson
A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.
By Irene Banos Ruiz
Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.
Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.