The iPhone 6 will be a bit safer to use than the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 – and every other iPhone Apple’s made since 2007.
That’s because iPhone maker Apple, Inc. has decided to ban the use of n-hexane and benzene in most of its production factories due to these chemicals placing workers and users at risk for cancer, reproductive issues, and nerve damage.
N-hexane is used to wipe smudges from iPhone screens before they are packaged and shipped so that the iPhone you get out of the box looks brand new. Benzene is a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) that provides a protective coating for iPhone components.
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After the environmental group Green America warned about these chemicals used to manufacture iPhone parts as well as the fact that factory workers weren’t given protective gear to limit exposure to these chemicals, Apple conducted its own investigation. While the company’s decided in lieu of the carcinogenic nature of these chemicals to ban them from the majority of its factories (if safer alternatives can be found), Apple can still use them in some factories. According to regulations, the company can use benzene if a smaller amount than 0.1ppm is located in breathing zones or areas of exposure. N-hexane must be limited to 28ppm.
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While the use of both benzene and n-hexane are unwelcome, at least safety standards are tightening on these chemicals. Perhaps these findings explain why Apple products have yet to make China’s environmentally-friendly product list.