Odor from Apple supplier factory in China unbearable, residents say
The local Chinese government temporarily shut down the factory to satisify residents
IDG News Service - For months, Luo Xiaoqiang has lived with an odor she describes as a mix of chemical fertilizer and burning plastic.
"The smell will wake you up in the night," she said in a telephone interview. "For the past two to three months, I've been sleepless."
Luo is a resident of Fenghuang City, a community of about 7,000 in Suzhou, China. Only about 2 kilometers from the community is a factory operated by Apple supplier Catcher Technology, which builds aluminum cases for the company's laptops. The byproduct of that manufacturing has left neighboring residents with an odor they claim is both unbearable and damaging to their health.
This past weekend, the factory was temporarily shut down by the local authorities after residents had repeatedly complained to government officials. Residents, however, worry that once the factory goes back online the smells will remain, even as the air pollution emitted will meet safety standards.
"We don't care about the standards," Luo said. "We think their standards are lower and not up to what they should be."
Catcher Technology could not be reached for comment. But in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Monday, the company said the chemical materials and odors used in its manufacturing process meet the safety marks. Catcher, however, wants to completely remove the odor in order to meet residents' requests. As a consequence, the shutdown could impact Apple MacBook shipments.
Since 2008, residents in the community began noticing the odor, with the smells reaching their worst starting around June of this year. One resident, who would only give her surname as Xia, said people in the community have reported breathing problems and pain in their throats. Her 5-year-old child is among those affected, she said.
"It's been so strong that even when you close the window, the fumes will still come through," she said. "When I smell it, my body just feels heavy and worse. When I don't smell it, the symptoms just go away."
In response, residents have appealed to the local government and Catcher Technology, while also sending letters to Apple, which did not respond for a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the local government said the complaints from residents prompted authorities to inspect the factory earlier this year. Those findings showed that part of the exhaust equipment was not functioning properly. But even as changes were made, the odor still remained.
The government then gave Catcher Technology by the end of this year to complete improvements to the factory's exhaust system, with a Sept. 30 deadline for the first phase. The factory also had until Oct. 8 to reduce by half the spray coating production used in the factory.
- Aberdeen: Securing the Evolving Datacenter This report highlights ways security technologies and services are evolving to provide the visibility and control needed to deploy workloads flexibly in the...
- IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Client Virtualization Software 2013 Vendor Assessment IDC has placed Citrix in the 2013 IDC MarketScape Leaders Category once again noting that, "Citrix's position reflects the company's market leadership and...
- Infographic: Top Use Cases for Desktop Virtualization A wide range of business issues is driving IT toward desktop virtualization. One solution-Citrix XenDesktop with FlexCast technology-helps IT teams empower their entire...
- Budd Van Lines Moves Data Closer to Home Shipping and logistics company Budd Van Lines uses Infinio to improve performance on their VDI environment. The company employs a virtualized datacenter based...
- The Key to Happiness: Throw out Your Data Warehouse In this webinar, Kerry Reitnauer, Director, Solution Architect at FairPoint Communications will discuss the challenges the data warehouse brought, how they migrated to...
- Building Tomorrow's Data Center with Converged Technologies A number of forces are converging: the cloud, converged infrastructure, big data and fabric architectures to name a few. All Data Center White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!