“Apple’s labor practices are under attack by two activist groups who contend the company makes its iPhones with a hazardous mix of chemicals that threaten the health of factory workers assembling the devices in China,” Michael Liedtke reports for The Associated Press. “The campaign began Wednesday with an online petition put together by China Labor Watch, a longtime Apple critic, and Green America, an environmental protection group.”
“If enough consumers sign the ‘Bad Apple’ petition, the two groups hope to pressure the company into abandoning the use of two chemicals, benzene and n-hexane, in the production of the iPhone, Apple’s top-selling product,” Liedtke reports. “In a statement, Apple pointed out that it has already stopped using many hazardous chemicals, including PVC plastic and brominated flame, during the past few years to the acclaim of environmental groups such as Greenpeace. The Cupertino, Calif. company also says it ensures all remaining toxic substances comply with U.S. safety standards.”
“The protesting groups believe Apple’s factory inspections and publicly released reports about the findings have been whitewashing the real working conditions,” Liedtke reports. “Neither benzene nor n-hexane is unique to Apple’s manufacturing process. They are also used in the production of electronics products sold by other large technology companies who have also been criticized for their practices. For instance, last year a South Korean court raised doubts about Samsung Electronics’ claims that the benzene levels in its computer chip factories were safe. The court ruled Samsung hadn’t fully examined the health risk in its chip factories after a 29-year-old worker died of leukemia in 2009.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, “Bad Apple.” How original. Perhaps they thought “Rotten” and “Worm in the” were too shopworn? Next press conference, maybe they’ll roll out Mike Daisey for a cameo. At least that would be semi-interesting.
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