Making one of the most sought after cell phones in the U.S. has proven to be dangerous for the health of workers in China. Apple has admitted that 137 workers at a Chinese factory producing
iPhones in Suzhou have become seriously ill from exposure to a toxic
chemical used to make the device’s black screen.
The technology company claims it told its contractor, Taiwan-based Wintek,
to stop using n-hexane for the iPhone, because doing so violates
Apple’s worker safety policy. It also said it will monitor the medical
conditions of the sick workers.
But factory employees interviewed by The New York Times said
they have not been contacted by anyone at Apple so far. Rather, Wintek
officials pressured them to quit their jobs, accept cash settlements and
release the company from any liability stemming from the chemical
exposure. Wintek says that it has paid out $1.5 million in compensation
to workers who have accepted settlements.
Some workers have complained of nerve damage and hypersensitivity to cold after working at the plant. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), n-hexane is a narcotic that can disrupt the central nervous system of humans and cause vertigo and muscular atrophy.
Noel Brinkerhoff - February 24, 2011 - AllGov
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