Apple bans two dangerous substances
Electronics company Apple has banned two potentially hazardous chemicals from being used in 22 of its iPhone and iPad production plants.
The ban only covers first tier suppliers. Campaigners, despite welcoming the commitment, want Apple to enforce the ban further down its supply chain.
The BBC reports that Benzene, which is a carcinogen, and n-Hexane, which can cause nerve damage, will no longer be used in cleaning agents or degreasers at the facilities.
Lisa Jackson from Apple made the announcement this week saying in a statement, "We've updated our tight restrictions on benzene and n-hexane to explicitly prohibit their use in final assembly processes."
China Labor Watch, a New York-based non-profit organisation which campaigns for Apple to improve its safety standards, told the BBC it welcomed the commitment, but emphasised that the true test would be in its implementation and questioned Apple's ability to monitor use of the chemicals.
Executive director Li Quang said: "Apple has for years had commitments to labour standards like working hours, overtime wages and temporary worker regulations, but there is often widespread disregarding of these codes of conduct."
Environmental campaign group Green America urged Apple to go further to ensure the safety of workers in its supply chain.
"Beyond benzene and n-hexane, there are thousands of chemicals used in the manufacturing of electronics - some of which are largely untested - and many chemicals used by Apple suppliers remain undisclosed," it said.
The charity added that Apple needed to "look deeper into its supply chain, to the second and third tier suppliers, where chemical usage and safety procedures are less controlled".
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