Apple has banned the use of two potentially hazardous chemicals from its manufacturing process. The move comes months after two activist groups launched a petition saying the substances could harm factory workers who assemble the company's iThings. The two chemicals -- benzene, a known carcinogen, and n-hexane, which has been linked to nerve damage -- are now "explicitly" prohibited from Apple's final assembly processes, Apple's vice president of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson announced in a post late Wednesday.
The move came after Apple sent internal teams to inspect each of the company's 22 final-assembly plants -- though Apple said the four-month investigation found "no evidence of workers’ health being put at risk." Apple's internal investigation itself came after the company "received some questions about whether the chemicals benzene and n-hexane are used in the manufacturing of our products," Jackson wrote. China Labor Watch -- the group that uncovered poor working conditions at Apple supplier factories –- launched a "Bad Apple" petition in March, and environmental group Green America called on Apple to ban the chemicals.
– Julianne Pepitone