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Apple bans use of two hazardous chemicals in iPhone production

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
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.

AuditWorker prepares iPhone for final assembly. | Source: Apple Supplier Responsibility Report


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.

In 2010, Apple supplier Wintek revealed it had treated workers exposed to n-hexane after 44 workers threatened to sue over exposure to the chemical. At the time, it was reported that some 62 workers were hospitalized for months as a result of being poisoned by n-hexane, which they were supposedly forced to use because it it dries faster and cleaner than safer alternatives like alcohol.
post #2 of 40
Cue the Apple bashing in 3-2-1...
post #3 of 40
...0...

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #4 of 40

APPLE SHOULD STOP USING ALUMINUM BECAUSE THE DUST CAN EXPLODE.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

APPLE SHOULD STOP USING ALUMINUM BECAUSE THE DUST CAN EXPLODE.

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #6 of 40

Any dust can explode...

post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent McAnulty View Post

Any dust can explode...

Well not any dust. It has to be oxidizable.
post #8 of 40
The glass they use will cut your fingers when it shatters and you can't get a genius appt for 3 days... Just sayin.
post #9 of 40
Will all the Physical Chemists raise their hand? If not, STFU.
post #10 of 40

I think Apple is doing the right thing.

Wouldn't want this hanging over a company's reputation:

http://zoominkorea.org/movie-another-promise-the-empire-of-shame/

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent McAnulty View Post
 

Any dust can explode...


Not true.  Only dust specifically from Apple products.

Don't believe me?  Just ask the Fandroids.  ;)

post #12 of 40

This is yet another tragic case of Apple surrendering and pandering to external extremist pressure and unsavory outside influences for the second day in a row. 

 

Was it not bad enough that Apple decided to give into racists yesterday? Today they are yielding to anti-globalization lunatics and green fools who spend their days bashing big companies.

 

After a four month investigation into the issue, the findings were that the chemicals did not endanger the roughly 500,000 workers. Why did Apple not stick to their guns and allow the continued use of these chemicals if they were not dangerous? Apple took the lunatic's concerns seriously and they even conducted an investigation. What was the point in the four month investigation, if not to abide by its findings?

 

I went to the home page real quick of the group called China Labor Watch and they're still bashing Apple and other companies on their front page. So this surrender by Apple and giving into these lunatics is not even appreciated by the ungrateful lunatics. 

 

I remember reading that at a share holder meeting, a conservative group wanted Apple to give up on green initiatives that didn't contribute to the bottom line, and Tim Cook got angry and basically told the group to get lost. I happened to agree with Tim Cook in that particular instance, but I see a disturbing pattern developing.

 

Apple seems to give into all sorts of leftist extremist groups, such as racist groups and environmental groups. Apple will bend over backwards to accommodate these extremists, Apple is afraid to tell them to get lost, even when studies suggest that there is nothing wrong. But when a conservative group has a suggestion, then Apple is not afraid to vocally tell them to get lost.

 

Where is Apple's balls when it comes to telling extremist leftist groups to take a hike?

 

Is this what Apple means by diversity?

post #13 of 40

Both of these chemicals have numerous harmful, carcinogenic, mutagenic and or teratogenic properties.  Yes, with careful and expensive practices these chemicals can be handled safely.  I have worked in a lab where benzene was used as a reagent to calibrate various test instruments. This was at a low concentration and we still wore full face masks, gloves and aprons and only handled it under a fume hood. This was in the late 70s and it was considered bad stuff even then and at a big industrial chemical plant no less.  They knew it was bad and took the necessary precautions.  

 

What ever caused Apple to cease using these chemicals, it is a good thing that they have.  They are showing that companies can make hard decisions like this and still get the products made and the profits collected.  If some outside group forced their hand then so be it. What difference does it make really?  Apple handled this the way they do everything:  The look at the situation, analyze the costs, risks and benefits and make a decision they consider best for them and the world in general. There is more to corporate existence than just the bottom line and they just proved it.

post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post
What ever caused Apple to cease using these chemicals, it is a good thing that they have.  

 

I believe that the product should always come first.

 

What were these chemicals replaced with? Are the substitutes equally as good and effective?

 

Does the elimination of the chemicals in any way, shape or form contribute to a lesser phone?

 

Will this lead to a slow down in production and yields, because it is possibly being replaced by an inferior substance and method? Apple's suppliers need to be pumping out as many phones as possible. We don't need to be reading about any yield issues or production slow downs on this site in the weeks and months to come.

 

There are a lot of crazy people out there. Some people don't even believe in having their children vaccinated. But I find it to be sad that Apple is giving into paranoid people and extremist groups. Apple's own investigation found that everything was fine, yet they choose to pander to these crazy people and proven liars like Mike Daisy with his fabricated lies about Apple.

post #15 of 40
Benzene - If Apple keeps this up pretty soon they will be having benzene removed from sports and energy drinks!
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

I believe that the product should always come first.

 

What were these chemicals replaced with? Are the substitutes equally as good and effective?

 

Does the elimination of the chemicals in any way, shape or form contribute to a lesser phone?

 

Will this lead to a slow down in production and yields, because it is possibly being replaced by an inferior substance and method? Apple's suppliers need to be pumping out as many phones as possible. We don't need to be reading about any yield issues or production slow downs on this site in the weeks and months to come.

 

There are a lot of crazy people out there. Some people don't even believe in having their children vaccinated. But I find it to be sad that Apple is giving into paranoid people and extremist groups. Apple's own investigation found that everything was fine, yet they choose to pander to these crazy people and proven liars like Mike Daisy with his fabricated lies about Apple.

It is very doubtful that Apple would make this change if doing so had any serious impact on their business.  Tim Cook "The King of Operations" would not stand for this.  Also, I think it is certainly your choice to view this as Apple "caving" to "extremist groups", but again it is doubtful that Apple looks at it this way.  I certainly don't - it's really more of a PR victory.

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post
 

It is very doubtful that Apple would make this change if doing so had any serious impact on their business. 

 

I agree that it probably wont have any significant impact on their business, otherwise Apple obviously wouldn't have done it.

 

But, even if it had a 1% negative impact on production yield, then I would be against it.

 

Anyway, my opinion doesn't really matter in this instance, since this is a done deal it seems.:smokey:

post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I believe that the product should always come first.

Does the elimination of the chemicals in any way, shape or form contribute to a lesser phone?

What kind of person are you?
People and their well being come first. Always!
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

What kind of person are you?
People and their well being come first. Always!

 

I am an awesome person. A person who believes in scientific fact and not ignorant liberal nonsense and voodoo.

 

The investigation concluded that these chemicals were not dangerous to the workers, so there is no issue here really, besides pandering to ignorant groups.

 

And I don't fully agree that people always comes first. That's not the way it is in the real world. Take a look around. And besides, Chinese factory workers are a dime a dozen. There's no shortage of workers looking for work at various factories in China that are Apple suppliers.

post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I am an awesome person. A person who believes in scientific fact and not ignorant liberal nonsense and voodoo.

The investigation concluded that these chemicals were not dangerous to the workers, so there is no issue here really, besides pandering to ignorant groups.

And I don't fully agree that people always comes first. That's not the way it is in the real world. Take a look around. And besides, Chinese factory workers are a dime a dozen. There's no shortage of workers looking for work at various factories in China that are Apple suppliers.
It doesn't sound much like it's affecting Apple's bottom-line so I'm ok with it. Are they pandering here? I guess that's debateable but I think Apple did the right thing here.
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post


It doesn't sound much like it's affecting Apple's bottom-line so I'm ok with it. Are they pandering here? I guess that's debateable but I think Apple did the right thing here.

 

I fully agree that this is not going to affect Apple's bottom line. I'm not worried about my Apple stock at all, quite the contrary. I see AAPL moving past $100 soon, and then continuing on.

post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I fully agree that this is not going to affect Apple's bottom line. I'm not worried about my Apple stock at all, quite the contrary. I see AAPL moving past $100 soon, and then continuing on.
I also think it gives Apple another thing to tout over "competitors" like Google, Microsoft, HTC and the like.

Plus I like to think it allows Apple to say to these clowns that "Hey, you guys were b*tching about us using these chemicals and when we changed them you still b*tched so you guys are full of shit." though not using those exact words.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Benzene - If Apple keeps this up pretty soon they will be having benzene removed from sports and energy drinks!


Yeah, and maybe they will start removing hexane from soy products!!

http://www.naturalnews.com/026303_hexane_soy_food.html

post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

APPLE SHOULD STOP USING ALUMINUM BECAUSE THE DUST CAN EXPLODE.

 

Apple don't use Aluminum. The use Aluminium!

post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I am an awesome person. A person who believes in scientific fact and not ignorant liberal nonsense and voodoo.

The investigation concluded that these chemicals were not dangerous to the workers, so there is no issue here really, besides pandering to ignorant groups.

And I don't fully agree that people always comes first. That's not the way it is in the real world. Take a look around. And besides, Chinese factory workers are a dime a dozen. There's no shortage of workers looking for work at various factories in China that are Apple suppliers.

1) Scientific fact are at odds with being open to new ideas and opinions? 1oyvey.gif You might want to take to a course of leeches.

2) Here's some "scientific fact" taken directly from this article…
  • AppleInsider writes, "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," which only shows that their specific study didn't find anyone being endangered.
  • AppleInsider writes, "Despite the study's conclusion, Apple has decided to remove n-hexane and benzene from the iPhone assembly process," because these chemicals can be very harmful and have harmed many people over the years.

Edited by SolipsismX - 8/14/14 at 12:54am

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I am an awesome person. A person who believes in scientific fact and not ignorant liberal nonsense and voodoo.

The investigation concluded that these chemicals were not dangerous to the workers, so there is no issue here really, besides pandering to ignorant groups.

And I don't fully agree that people always comes first. That's not the way it is in the real world. Take a look around. And besides, Chinese factory workers are a dime a dozen. There's no shortage of workers looking for work at various factories in China that are Apple suppliers.

People led by a belief - any belief - are not scientific and they are not awesome. They're awful and creepy. Your last paragraph fully makes my point. People are not a dime for a dozen. If you don't agree on that, then read your Constitution. Then again, then again. (dońt forget the 13th).

What do you know of benzene? How much of it is used to produce what's most important to you: you're product? Did you read the report? Were you part of the investigation team? If not, your claim to be scientific is no more than a slogan.

As an aside? What does that mean, being scientific as opposed to liberal thinking? Are they even related? Where does that put Oppenheimer, Einstein, Szilard, Tesla, Darwin, ... ?
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent McAnulty View Post
 

Any dust can explode...

Not to mention Li-Ion batteries :D

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply
post #28 of 40

Now that Apple decided not to use these materials, this matter will put to rest by the media. No article/blog will be published by anybody criticizing others for using these chemicals.

 

No matter how many companies use them, only Apple's use of them is newsworthy and criticized.

post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Will all the Physical Chemists raise their hand? If not, STFU.

What about the Spiritual Chemists? Lol
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #30 of 40
If a viable less-demonized alternative exists, smart move changing to it. Nip any reason for the haters to hate in the bud.
post #31 of 40

this would never have happened if Mike Daisey was still alive.

You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

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You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

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post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The investigation concluded that these chemicals were not dangerous to the workers, so there is no issue here really, besides pandering to ignorant groups.

And no chemical has ever been deemed 'not dangerous' only to later find out that it was indeed dangerous?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

People led by a belief - any belief - are not scientific and they are not awesome.

How many times has a scientific fact been disproven? Sometimes a very educated guess is passed on as fact, because proper testing methods did not exist at the time.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I believe that the product should always come first.

Apple puts people first.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

Anyway, my opinion doesn't really matter in this instance, since this is a done deal it seems.:smokey:

AI would be a pretty lonely place if we didn't beat dead horses and dissect done deals. ;)

post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


And no chemical has ever been deemed 'not dangerous' only to later find out that it was indeed dangerous?

I think what was determined is that the way the chemical were being used and handled was not dangerous to workers.  As unpleasant as both chemicals are, they can be used safely with proper precautions.  There is however a pretty big expense associated with their use due to the hazards both human and environmental.  No one is going to magically discover that benzene is not a carcinogen or that hexane doesn't destroy testicular tissue.  That is long settled information.

post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Apple puts people first.

So does Google. Of course, the people are the product.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply
post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


How many times has a scientific fact been disproven? Sometimes a very educated guess is passed on as fact, because proper testing methods did not exist at the time.

 

That's what I meant.

post #39 of 40

If it was business as usual, i.e., when Apple is not involved, none of these safety concerns would have the global media shining a bright light on them. Because Apple is a conscientious company everyone is expecting Apple to step up and institute higher worker safety standards than even what the host countries consider "adequate." At some level it is disappointing to know that the media and global safety organizations are manipulating Apple in this way, but it is also gratifying and reassuring to see that Apple is always doing the right thing despite the fact that they are clearly being "used" by these groups. Add GreenPeace to this list. I doubt that very many global companies other than Apple would react in the same way under the same set of circumstances. Let's see the same level of scrutiny applied to WalMart and the garment industry and see how they have reacted compared to Apple. These situations clearly demonstrate the incredible level of humility that is shown by Tim Cook and the whole Apple team. 

post #40 of 40
One day they will have an iPhone made with no chemicals. 100% organic. And then when you're done with it, you can eat it...... Well it sounded like a good idea for 5 seconds.
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