changes their "ethical iPhone" petition

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by FloatingBones, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. FloatingBones, Feb 15, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012

    FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Originally, the "ethical iPhone" petition said:

    Now, it says:

    I appreciate they fixed the false inflammatory claims about n-hexane, but this update has several problems:

    • Did the NGO notify its iPhone petition signers that the "neurotoxin" claim was false and ask signers if they wanted to remove themselves from the petition?
    • The updated petition claims that isopropanol -- rubbing alcohol -- is a toxin. Really? Are these folk claiming that the liquid that's in millions of medicine cabinets is not safe? Have they looked at the ingredient list for Purell hand sanitizer? Do they have chemists on staff? If not, what is the source of their claim?
    • The original petition asked for a safe alternative to the "neurotoxin". As far as I can tell, one has been found and was already in use, but that's not good enough for this organization. What chemical would they be happy with?
    SumOfUs claims to be an ethical watchdog, but they don't seem to be acting in an ethical fashion. Their original petition had false claims, and they are not holding themselves to account. Who is watching the watchmen?
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I am going to point out to you that yes t isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) is toxic from long term exposer.

    They would be using 99.9% (pure isopropanol) and I can tell you from working with it to clean electronics in the short uses it can leave you light headed after a short while. The fums are fairly powerful. Plus if you have prolong skin contact with it that it will dry your skin and it feels weird. Great for cleaning stuff but it does have side effects.

    The rubbing alcohol you buy from the drug store is at most 90% and often time 70%. It makes a rather large difference. I delute it for my glasses lens cleaner solution and it works great there as well but I am not spraying 99.9% on my glass. It is more like a 70%. The other 30% being distilled water.
    From wiki
  3. FloatingBones thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    All this shows is that it can be toxic. The question is why does know with certainty that Foxconn's use of isopropyl alcohol is of a concentration that is toxic?

    Nothing in the wiki sez that Foxconn is using 99.9% solution. That's a huge assumption.

    SumOfUs has proven with the n-hexane error that they don't fact-check. Why are you taking this claim at face value?
  4. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Not really a huge assumption. It really is a very very safe assumption. It would be a huge assumption that they are not using 99.9%. Reason you use it at that high for electronics is it is not water, and it evaporates much quickly. It does it job and goes away. If you look at what is used to clean them and what is sold in electronic stores for cleaning them you will see it is 99.9% (pure). It is very safe to assume Foxconn is using the pure form.
  5. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    Even if they were using a lower concentration the prolonged exposure would be toxic.
  6. FloatingBones, Feb 16, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012

    FloatingBones thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    It should have been safe to assume that the claims in SumOfUs's original petition was correct. But they were wrong: n-hexane has not been used for a long time on the production line. One must ask: why were they so sloppy to get that claim wrong? As far as I can tell, they sacrificed sensationalism for the truth.

    Do you object to's silently changing their petition without telling anyone about the obvious error in the original text?

    The claim is begging the question. Since they already made an error, they should be extra-careful to ensure their claims are now correct. They should be telling us how they know what they claim. As far as I can tell, they made absolutely no effort to double check anything. The original petition claim was hastily made, and their correction was also hastily made.

    So if I take my iPhone into an electronics store, they will recommend using a solution of 99.9% isopropyl alcohol to clean the screen? :confused::confused:

    Rodimus, Apple stores are electronic stores. They don't recommend using alcohol to clean the screen. Apple is very clear: they don't recommend using any alcohol at all: Use a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Avoid getting moisture in openings. Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean iPhone. The front and back glass surfaces have an oleophobic coating. To remove fingerprints, simply wipe these surfaces with a soft, lint-free cloth.

    It's very safe to assume Foxconn is using a 99.9% pure form of a substance that Apple says to never use on their product? WTF?

    Apple doesn't recommend using any sort of alcohol-based (or ammonia-based) cleaner for their oleophobic glass screens. The only alcohol-based cleaner they even sell in their electronics stores -- intended solely for Mac computer displays -- uses a 32% solution in their screen wipes (MSDS here).

    The only thing that's safe to assume about is that they sacrifice sensationalism for the facts. We know that because of their hastily-retracted claim that a "neurotoxin" is being used on the manufacturing lines. What is their basis for now claiming that isopropyl alcohol -- of any concentration -- is being used on the manufacturing lines? Given their history of deceptive claims, the onus is on them to demonstrate their new ones are accurate.

    Your claims of pure isopropyl alcohol being used by electronic stores appears to be 100% false. Do you have any evidence to back up your claim: MSDS sheets, etc.?

    Rodimus, I'm sorry if the tone sounds harsh. If a company postures itself as an ethical watchdog, it is a FAIL for them to act in an unethical fashion. If they make a mistake, they need to own up for that mistake. If they make further inflammatory claims, they need to provide a damn good reason for us to believe that those claims are true. hasn't done any of that. Your claims about electronic stores using 99.9% isopropyl alcohol don't pass muster, either.

    Please re-read my original message, then answer: why do you ignore the ethical failings of
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Apple is not a type of electronic store I was talking about. Go to a place like Fry's and go to the computer hardware area where you can buy the parts to build a computer. I should of clarified which store I was talking about. Have you ever built a computer or fixed electronics?
    What is recommended after the fact and what is used during manufacturing are two different things.
  8. FloatingBones thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    No. The failure is that you are begging the question. Even if I stipulate that pure isopropyl alcohol is toxic, has failed to provide a shred of evidence that Foxconn is actually using it on their manufacturing line. Read my original posting: we already know that SumOfUs has made false inflammatory claims in their petitions. Why should we trust them -- or you -- now?

    Common sense should tell you that isopropanol is a poor choice for cleaning screens. Here's what your Fry's Electronics says your product is good for: magnetic tape heads, printed circuit boards, contacts, fiber optics, etc. If I were cleaning screens on assembled iPhones, I'd follow Apple's recommendation: use a slightly damp cloth.

    Yes. Do you use pure isopropyl alcohol to clean your oleophobic glass screen?

    And the only thing that could possibly be used is ... 99.9% isopropyl alcohol. :confused: Really? Why wouldn't a damp cloth work?

    Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

    If we're going to have an intellectually honest discussion, you can't ignore the question. As far as I can tell, this watchdog organization is not operating in an ethical fashion. Sensationalism is not a substitute for facts. Sadly, these guys are actually undermining their cause.

    If you disagree, please make your case.

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