In 2006, the Mail on Sunday reported on working conditions existed at factories in China where the contract manufacturers Foxconn and Inventec produced the iPod.213 The article stated that one complex of factories that assembles the iPod (among other items) had over 200,000 workers that lived and worked in the factory, with employees regularly working more than 60 hours per week. The article also reported that workers made around $100 per month and were required to live pay for rent and food from the company, which generally amounted to a little over half of workers’ earnings.15214215216
Apple immediately launched an investigation and worked with their manufacturers to ensure acceptable working conditions.217 In 2007, Apple started yearly audits of all its suppliers regarding worker’s rights, slowly raising standards and pruning suppliers that did not comply. Yearly progress reports have been published since 2008.218 In 2010, workers in China planned to sue iPhone contractors over poisoning by a cleaner used to clean LCD screens. One worker claimed that he and his coworkers had not been informed of possible occupational illnesses.219 After a spate of suicides in a Foxconn facility in China making iPads and iPhones, workers were forced to sign a legally binding document guaranteeing that they would not kill themselves.220 In 2011 Apple admitted that its suppliers’ child labor practices in China had worsened.221
Workers in factories producing Apple products have also been exposed to n-Hexane, a neurotoxin that is a cheaper alternative than alcohol for cleaning the products.