Chinese factory workers appeal to Apple over poisoning

"This is a killer, a killer that strikes invisibly," reads a letter to Steve Jobs
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Wintek, a Chinese firm that produces touch screens for Apple, has appealed to CEO Steve Jobs to help address grievances over a chemical poisoning they said could still be damaging to their health.

Hexyl hydride, or n-hexane, was apparently used as part of the screen's construction process in the Suzhou industrial park site from May 2008 to August 2009, poisoning a number of workers.

A letter to the Apple boss, signed by five workers claiming to represent employees, was shown to Reuter's locally.

It read: "This is a killer, a killer that strikes invisibly. From when hexyl hydride was used, monthly profits at Apple and Wintek have gone up by tens of millions every month, the accumulated outcome of workers' lives and health,"

Symptoms of exposure to n-hexane reportedly include swelling and pain in feet, tiredness, faintness, numbness in hands, and daily exposure can cause irreversible nerve damage.

According to Reuters, some workers at Wintek said they had not been given enough compensation and the plant had "pressured those who took compensation to give up their jobs, and had not offered assurances that workers who may suffer fresh bouts of illness from the poisoning will have medical bills take care of."

The poisonings were mentioned in Apple's recent supplier report, but as yet the firm has made no further statement.

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