Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s labor practices have come under attack once again. Non-profit group Green America and The Nation magazine have urged consumers to boycott Apple products. They take issue with the use of toxic chemicals in Apple devices, which affects workers’ health. New York-based China Labor Group has also jumped in to support the campaign to rid the hazardous chemicals from the production process, but it is not supporting the boycott.

Apple

Groups want Apple to substitute out benzene and n-hexane

The campaign persuades consumers to boycott iDevices unless the tech giant changes its manufacturing and supply chain operations to improve working conditions. But the iPhone maker rejected the call. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said that it’s been a leader in ridding toxic chemicals from its devices. The company requires its suppliers to match or exceed U.S. safety regulations.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its key supplier Foxconn have been criticized due to poor working conditions in Foxconn’s factories in China. Criticism grew louder after a number of Foxconn employees committed suicide. That prompted Foxconn to change the way workers are treated. Since then, Apple has been highlighting the issue in its Supplier Responsibility Report.

The NGOs said it would cost Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) only $1 per device to substitute two toxic chemicals, benzene and n-hexane, with non-toxic ones, reports CIO. The campaigners are also asking the company to create a healthcare fund to take care of workers who fall sick working on its products. Th groups have asked consumer to send a protest letter to Apple chief executive Tim Cook.

Apple conducted about 200 inspections last year

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) responded by saying that it has led the consumer electronics industry in removing other toxic substances such as PVC, mercury, lead, and brominated flame retardants from its products. The company requires its suppliers to comply with the U.S. safety standards such as the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the OSHA. In 2013, the tech giant conducted about 200 inspections to make sure that factories meet its standards.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares rose 0.08% to $537.03 in pre-market trading Thursday.