Following pleas from activist groups and investigations at manufacturing facilities overseas, Apple has banned the use of two chemicals in its manufacturing plants. No longer will benzene and n-hexane be used, whereas they had been used as cleaning and solvent agents in the past. Apple's investigation into the use of the chemicals came after some activists told the company safer alternatives were available.
The investigation into 22 of Apple's manufacturing facilities found that just four places were using the chemicals--and they were used within the "safe" limits. Yet, Apple still decided to ban them.
Some workers have been hospitalized in the past as a result of exposure to the chemicals which is part of the reason why the activist groups were calling on Apple to ban their use.