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Groups protesting chemicals Apple uses to make iPhone

Groups protesting chemicals Apple uses to make the iPhone, “Green America” and “China Labor Watch”, began a campaign Wednesday to get consumers to boycott Apple products, according to a March 13 report in the Associated Press via Fox News.

These environmental activist groups claim that Apple uses dangerous chemicals during the iPhone manufacturing process, which threaten the health and safety of workers who assemble the iPhones in China. The groups also say that Samsung, Dell and HP use the same chemicals and that they should change their ways too.

Longtime Apple critic “China Labor Watch” and the environmental group “Green America”, with “The Nation” magazine, posted a “Bad Apple” petition online calling on Apple to abandon Apple's use of benzene and n-hexane.

If handled improperly, benzene is a carcinogen that can cause Leukemia and n-hexane can cause nerve damage.

Apple says that Apple designers lead the industry in reducing or doing away with toxic chemicals during the manufacturing process, even though such chemicals are still allowed to be used in many parts of the world. Apple has, for example, eliminated the use of mercury, arsenic and brominated flame retardants from Apple's processes and supply chain. What's more, Apple says that all remaining toxic substances are handled and used in compliance with United States safety standards.

The groups protesting the use of these chemicals claim it would cost just $1.00 per iPhone for Apple to replace the chemicals benzene and h-hexane, the two most dangerous chemicals in the manufacturing recipe. The groups came to the $1.00 figure per iPhone by asking industry experts to give their “best guess” at what they think it might cost.

Why did these groups select Apple to protest against when Samsung, Dell and HP use the same chemicals? Because these groups will get a lot more publicity for their cause by protesting against Apple and also because Apple is such a large company that, if it eliminates these chemicals from its manufacturing process, Samsung, Dell and HP will too.

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