Apple faces renewed calls to address worker safety
Environmental and human rights organizations, socially responsible investment firms, and occupational health professionals from 27 countries have sent a letter to Apple vp of environmental affairs Lisa Jackson, the former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging her to live up to her legacy by halting Apple’s suppliers using toxic chemicals in China.
At the EPA, Jackson monitored benzene levels in the water and air to ensure no one was exposed to dangerous levels of this known human carcinogen. According to the groups, Apple’s workers could be exposed to more than three times the amount of hazardous chemicals legally permissible in the US. They also estimate that the move to safer chemicals is less than $1 per device.
“As a global technology leader, Apple can and should be the first consumer electronics company to implement reforms to protect workers from hazardous chemicals,”, said Elizabeth O’Connell, campaigns director for Green America. “Apple has the financial resources to make these changes and the global leadership to make it count. Apple is not alone in these offenses, but its leadership is needed to make worker health and safety reforms a broader priority within the technology industry.”
Apple maintains that it requires its suppliers around the world to meet or exceed US safety standards.