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metal shreddings

Apple Faces Pollution Charges — Again

metal shreddingsAn Apple supplier in China making iPhone and iPad parts violated a number of health and safety, environmental and human rights laws, according to a report released by China Labor Watch and Green America.

The company investigated, called Catcher, manufactures metal iPad, MacBook and iPhone covers in its Suqian facilities, including parts for the iPhone 6.

Alleged violations include significant amounts of aluminum-magnesium alloy shreddings (pictured) on the floor and dust particles in the air, lack of proper ventilation, inadequate personal protective equipment for handling toxic materials and dumping of industrial fluids and waste into groundwater and nearby rivers.

This is not the first time CLA and Green America have accused Apple of harming the environment and workers. During the nonprofits’ most recent investigation, 500 to 600 workers from Catcher Sujian were transferred to this factory’s sister location in Taizhou to also work on the iPhone 6, the groups say. CLW investigated this factory in April 2013 and found many of the same violations.

Four months later Apple published a supplier code of conduct and committed to protect factory workers and the environment in the production of iPhones.

Catcher’s Suqian factory, in addition to producing components for Apple, contracts with Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo, Sony, HTC, Motorola and other well-known international brands, CLW and Green America say. This factory is not one of Apple’s 18 Final Assembly Plants in China, and therefore is not one of the facilities where Apple last month committed to a policy to ban the use of benzene and n-hexane in manufacturing.

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One thought on “Apple Faces Pollution Charges — Again

  1. Given the danger of dust explosions, the “dust particles in the air” finding is disturbing. I’m bewildered that a company as sophisticated as Apple allows it’s contractors and subcontractors to operate in a way that poses such risk. Even if a callous supply chain manager ignores the risk to human life and well being, the risk of supply chain interruption from a dust explosion should drive better practices.

    And certainly Apple’s experience has show that their contractors may put safety behind schedule and profit. Maybe corporate heuristics is not that much more advanced than the AI versions?

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