Watchdog groups accuse Apple suppliers of polluting river

Aug. 3, 2013 at 11:54 AM
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SHANGHAI, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Environmental watchdog groups in China have accused two manufacturing facilities, including Apple supplier Foxconn, of violating water pollution standards.

Five groups, led by activist Ma Jun's Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, released a film that describes high levels of nickel and copper in the sediment near discharge vents from the Foxconn manufacturing facility near Shanghai, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. The pollutants are flowing into a river that runs into the Huangpu river, the Journal said.

The other factory named in the film is run by Taiwanese supplier UniMicron Technology Corp.

Foxconn responded to the film by saying it is not the only factory that discharges waste water into the river.

UniMicron did not respond to requests for a comment, the Journal said.

In an interview, Ma said neighbors near the factories have complained about high levels of heavy metal in their land. Some researchers have said as much as 20 percent of China's farmland contains high levels of heavy metals.

China's Ministry of Environmental Protection refused in February to release a pollution study of the country's arable land, calling the information a "state secret."

The China Labor Watch organization this week accused Pegatron Corp., a Taiwanese company that also works for Apple, of discharging pollutants into the Shanghai sewer systems.

The watchdog group said Pegatron was discharging heavy metals into the sewer system of the city of Suzhou.

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