Chinese ‘iPhone’ factory workers hospitalised following ‘harmful chemical exposure’

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BEIJING - Workers in a Chinese factory were hospitalized for more than six months after reportedly being exposed to a harmful chemical while assembling Apple laptops and iPhones.


An Australian journalist said that he gained access to the Number Five People’s Hospital in Suzhou where a group of women patients claimed that they were left unable to walk after being exposed to n-hexane, reported.

“At first the symptoms were pretty obvious,” said a woman, referring to her reaction to breathing in the chemical, which was used to clean and stick logos on products.

“My hands were numb. I could hardly walk or run,” she added.

According to the report, the women had been in hospital for more than six months after working in a cramped and airless factory producing what they believed to be genuine Apple gadgets.

Meanwhile, Apple did not confirm that it had sourced products from factories in Suzhou, but said that it had strict workplace safety requirements for all its suppliers.

Apple took workers’ health very seriously and conducted audits to check conditions as well as required training in on-site health and safety, an Australian spokeswoman for the US-based company said.

Labour activists have previously also raised concerns over conditions in Chinese factories producing iPhones, arguing that millions of employees endure long hours, low pay and high pressure while producing the smartphones.

It is noteworthy that Taiwanese firm Foxconn, which makes electronic goods for Apple and other Western technology firms, has seen a spate of suicides at its Chinese plants this year. (ANI)

Filed under: Laptop, World, iPhone

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