Apple bans 'hazardous' chemicals in supply chain following pressure from campaigners

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
1 September 2014

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1 September 2014 | Will Green

Apple has banned the use of two chemicals in factories making its products following criticism from campaign groups.

The technology company carried out a four-month investigation at 22 factories in China before announcing a ban on the use of benzene and n-hexane, which are commonly used in cleaning agents.

Apple said it discovered the chemicals were being used on four sites, within limits set in its “Regulated Substances Specification”, though it has updated this document to “explicitly prohibit the use of benzene or n-hexane in cleaning agents and degreasers in the final assembly process”.

The company said it is working with suppliers to find alternatives. “We’re going to keep extending our work deeper into our supply chain, pushing ourselves to minimise harmful toxins, and work with stakeholders to ensure the health and safety of everyone who makes Apple products,” said the firm.

Apple came under fire from a large group including environmental and human rights organisations for the use of “benzene and other highly hazardous chemicals which can cause cancer, reproductive and neurological harm”.

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