Mac Pro 2009 toxic for your health?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Pitagora, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Pitagora macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    i am a new owner of an used 2009 Mac Pro and after i read some posts on the internet i saw that the mac pro 2008 had some issues because it emits toxic benzenne which can cause cancer and other blood diseases, so my following question is this: is my 2009 Mac Pro potentially emiting benzen, or other nocious substances?

    i ask you because the apple report was inconcluded, they evade tho tell ''yes'', or ''no''.

    can you help me and show me some proof that new 2009 mac pro doesn't/has problems
  2. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    Oh dear... "read some posts on the internet" is usually a bad sign.

    Remember - in order to be allowed to sell ANY electronic device, the company concerned has to satisfy all relevant Consumer and Environmental Safety legislation in your country and Apple has long prided itself on exceeding these laws.

    It is possible that consumer electronics (from any manufacturer) may indeed give off toxic compounds if put into landfill or incinerated which is why there are such strict recycling rules on post-consumer electronic waste.

    If you are not sure, go to the site and look at their pages concerning recycling your old or unwanted Apple products.

    Your own MP 2009 is safe providing you don't just bury it (along with ten thousand others) at the bottom of your garden or dump it in the autumn bonfire and stand there inhaling the fumes. I dare say grinding it up and spooning the fragments onto your cereal would not be a good idea too but if you use the device in the way the manufacturer intended then it will not be harmful to your health.
  3. Pitagora thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012

    thank you for you fast reply.
    but you know what wories me? in 2008 when this incident occurre apple hesitate to give a clear answer, they said there is nothing wrong bla bla bla and they will continue to search for the benzen compounds, but when a man asked apple to give him in paper that his computer is ok, benzen free etc. apple refused and this is not an expected attidue from a multinational enterprise like apple.

    so leave back the 2008 model, is any potential harm from 2009 Mac Pro regarding toxic materials? bacause if it does, i will not hesitate to sell it, don't want to stay near a bomb.
  4. thekev, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013

    thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    There is little chance of anyone on here being able to provide you with sourced information on such a topic. It may not exist.

    Edit: I mean a source of information or investigation may not exist.
  5. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    It might be a bomb. Seal off the area, and let me know where you are. I will come dispose of it right away.
  6. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
  7. Pitagora thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    no, i don't know if mine is toxic cause there isn't information regarding the 2009 model and i cannot know for sure if is toxic free.

    you guys aren't really interested ? is about your health, your kids health..
  8. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    No news is good news. Why would they report that in fact, the new Mac Pros do not emit benzene. Why would you assume that an issue with previous models affects yours?
  9. Pitagora thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    because no where says that apple resolved the problem, or there never wasn't a problem.
  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I smell troll or someone who needs a tin foil hat. Either way. This reminds me of the poster on these forums who claimed he needed to get rid of his laptops and switch to desktops so be could sit farther away from the electromagnetic rays give. Off (was going to cause cancer). Sad part is if you stood next to a microwave for even a minute you would get more electromagnetic waves than a whole day of your laptop sitting in your lap. Seriously lets keep things in perspective! If any gas is emitted while using your Mac Pro, it would be so minor that , unless you were litter ally breathing the exhaust air directly, it would be so dissipated due to the size of room it was in it would cause no harm. But hey maybe we should get rid of cows because the methane they produce is destroying our atmosphere....
  11. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    You are merely speculating that since there was an issue with one Mac Pro, there would be an issue with another, that one being yours. The fact that nobody has discovered said issue should mean that it probably does not exist.
  12. Pitagora thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    maybe you are right guys. sorry if i exaggerate, but i was worried after i read all reports. i know that, today, all is harmfull for you health, even food..but i supose i was curios.

    thank you guys for your replies.

  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    You are absolutely correct... there is very likely some harmful chemicals being emitted by your Mac Pro. I don't mean that facetiously either.

    The fact of the matter is that all sorts of regular, household, things are emitting chemicals that can be shown to cause harm.... in certain concentrations.

    Even the old Mac Pros, that were shown to be emitting chemicals, were not "harmful" if used in a regular setting. It was when concentrations were very high, and then applied to very small animals, in confined spaces with little air circulation that there was an elevated risk of harm. Not guaranteed to make the animals sick...just that the numbers of animals that developed tumours was more than the number who would have developed tumours in any case.

    Apple changed their manufacturing processes once the risk was identified. Did they eliminate all potentially harmful chemicals? Probably not... but nobody can guarantee that. But the groups that monitor these things have not identified any obviously harmful chemicals in new Apple systems.

    There are often more potentially harmful chemicals in regular household cleaners, in any case. There is radon gas leaking into your basement, probably. Do you have any CFLs in the house? They are a 'listed' toxic hazardous material and need to be disposed of accordingly. If you break one they release enough mercury vapour that you are supposed to leave the house for at least a day, and in some jurisdictions call in a hazmat cleaning company.

    Rugs and finishes on wood furniture off-gas all sorts of nasty things, as does fresh paint.

    Daily people work with ammonia and bleach...hopefully not in combination.

    So relax, enjoy your Mac, and if you are worried make sure that your house has a (small) but regular change of air.


    Not all food... just processed food.....
  14. Pitagora thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    thank you very much for your answer, you are perfectly right.
  15. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Good idea! :D

    @the OP: Never go outside, because the air near each street contains a lot of benzene.
  16. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
  17. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    This is absolutely the expected attitude from a multinational company - they tend not to give out random legal documents that may show up later in court to some guy off the street.
  18. tjlazer macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2005
    Tacoma, WA USA
    I just tried sniffing my Mac Pro 2009 and did not smell any benzene. LOL
  19. Pitagora thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
  20. rk25123 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2010
    Sir, thank you so much, you made my day! :D
  21. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    OP, if you ever put gasoline in a car you are inhaling benzene (an additive to improve octane). There are plenty of other more effective areas in your life in which you can mitigate risk to your health. Stop worrying about what you might die from and enjoy living.

    I do get a giddy, high feeling around my 2009 Mac Pro, but it is from the speed and user experience, not the fumes.
  22. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    IMO even if electronics emitted benzene at one time, it probably isn't any more after 3-4 years. Benzene is a solvent used during manufacturing process of electronics. It's not like the 2009 MP is somehow creating new benzene every day when you use it.

    OP if you are truly worried, rent a gas/VOC detector and figure it out for yourself. You can also check everything in your whole house. Have you got letters from the manufacturers of your oven, tv, radio, microwave, DVD player, etc., guaranteeing that those are benzene-free?
  23. sailmac macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2008

    You are enduring a bit of ridicule here for what seems like a sincere question. Probably not the responses you expected, but not surprising since relatively few people have deep knowledge in both the details and the big picture regarding toxic body burden (the pollution in people).

    I have a Mac Pro (early 2008) purchased the week it was introduced. I don't have sources handy, but I do recall discussion back then about a few (not many) units emitting a strong 'solvent' odor that diminished within a few days or weeks. I also recall one user with an older Mac Pro that emitted a 'sweet' odor that never went away and was eventually replaced by Apple. For what it's worth, my 2008 Mac Pro had no such odors and continues to be an excellent performer.

    Regarding the solvent odor, I seem to recall a community consensus that some components in some Mac Pros must have had a thin coating of excess residue left over from manufacturing. A few users had experienced similar symptoms with non-Apple equipment, leading them to believe this was something that occasionally happened (maybe still does) in the mass production of consumer electronics. I also recall some users pinpointing the problem to their graphics card -- the problem went away when they replaced it.

    Specifically regarding benzene, it dissipates relatively quickly as will most other VOCs involved with production. If you are in the market for a 2009 Mac Pro I believe any benzene that might have been there is long gone.

    As @snberk103 stated, you have a lot more in your home, car, workplace, and community that will affect you more significantly than any toxics emitted by a Mac Pro. A multifunction printer, a cushioned mouse pad, a stack of DVDs/CDs, and a typical desk chair are just a few nearby items that can negatively effect your health more than a Mac Pro.

    One of the kids in my family has extreme chemical sensitivity. I have to keep that in mind with every single item brought into the home. When evaluating the Mac Pro I concluded that overall it was the least toxic option for the kind of computing I do. One major factor is the Mac Pro's aluminum case; it is not shedding anywhere near the level of toxics (PBDEs, metals, plasticizers) that typical cases do. Those other cases will never stop emitting, and made more egregious because they become heated and blow their particles into the room.

    If you are serious about investing in a Mac Pro, I encourage you not to worry about its potential for increasing your toxic burden. The Mac Pro's contribution to your burden will rank low on the big list of sources in your life. ;)

    (If you want more resources about toxic burden let me know, I devoted years researching the subject…)
  24. Doc69 macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    Unfortunately most tech products off-gas harmful chemicals. It may however not be enough to make a difference for most people. For myself, I sit in a room with several computers, 10 displays, printers and external hard drives, and have for 25 years.

    As an example, I recently did a 24h urine test for Bromide. It turns out I excreted 14.5mg bromide over 24h. This is very high. Anything over 5mg interferes with iodine utilization for example. The bromide in my body comes primarily from breathing in off-gassing brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from my electronics.

    The solution is to move as much of our electronics as far away as possible, and have good ventilation. A machine room would be ideal. And with Thunderbolt, it is now easy to move the computers to an adjacent room.

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