Apple bans use of two harmful chemicals in its manufacturing process

Apple bans use of two harmful chemicals in its manufacturing process

Apple has revealed in a recent announcement that it is banning two hazardous chemicals which are used in the last stages of the manufacturing process of the company's popular devices.

The two chemicals being banned by Apple, with effect from September 1, include Benzene and N-hexane. Apple's forthcoming ban on the use of the two chemicals comes in response to calls from labor and environmental groups to stop the use of these two chemicals in its manufacturing plants.

Benzene - which is a known carcinogen - is currently being used in Apple's last-stage manufacturing process for coating electronic components; while N-hexane, which can potentially cause nerve damage and paralysis, is being used for cleaning screens.

Both Benzene and N-hexane can be toxic, and can also lead to higher rates of cancer, if they are not handled properly or if people are exposed to them for long periods of time. Analysts have revealed that the use of the two chemicals has been on the decline ever since those health risks were discovered; but the electronics sector has continued to use them, as cleaning and de-greasing agents, in their manufacturing process.

With regard to Apple's move to ban the use of the two chemicals, Lisa Jackson - Apple's VP for environmental initiatives - said in an online letter that the company "treats any allegations of unsafe working conditions extremely seriously."

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