back to article French boffin: Mac Pros emit toxic fumes

A French newspaper is claiming some Mac Pro owners are at risk of developing leukemia and other ills from breathing in toxic materials emitted from Apple's top-of-the-line PCs. According to Paris newspaper, Libération, an odd odor given off by some Mac Pros could be the result of several toxins used in the machines, including …


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  1. Solomon Grundy


    You do realize that this all Microsoft's doing right? They figure Mac users are already basically worthless and they'll just get rid of the silly bastards with poisonous computers.

    Hahaha. I always knew that Mac people sucked, but that won't be a problem for much longer - soon they'll all be dead.

  2. Graham Lockley

    The smell of a bad Apple

    Sorry, temptation was too great :)

  3. Mectron

    Need to say More?

    I been saying for years, Mac a crap.. and now they even emit crap!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    Mac's stink ! what's new?

  5. Anonymous Coward


    So much for Apple's image as "green" But seriously, I wonder how much toxic chemicals ALL computers and electronic devices emit from outgassing of hot components, or just over the course of their useful lives. Would be interesting to see a study featuring all mfrs, not just Apple. Myself, I've always liked the smell of new electronics, ever since I was a kid. Technology has always been my calling. Hopefully my excessive alcohol consumption does something to mitigate the other toxins :)

    Of course probably all jobs have some kind of hazards like these... Many years ago, before I got into IT, I used to be a restaurant manager. We'd usually buy a couple of cheap plastic fans at the beginning of summer. They'd start out spotless and clean, but in a matter of a few months, would be covered with a thick, oily, sooty residue on the blades, which I believe is what caused them to eventually fail. It would be nearly impossible to scrape off, unless you took them apart and soaked them in degreaser overnight. Of course we were all breathing the same air the fans circulated. (and the restaurant had a good exhaust system) Somehow I doubt breathing this crud was a health tonic.

    And I used to work with a guy that at some point had worked in a steel mill... He used to tell us stories of how nobody set any paperwork down in the mill. If you did, in an hour you could no longer find it, as it would be completely buried in soot and ash. Yum.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paging Mr. Phreaky...

    ...Will mr. Webster Phreaky please report to the Apple thread?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wait 'til...

    Webster sets eyes on this article!!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Fine quality control there

    Plastic bits made in China out-gassing toxic chemicals? Never!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    only 4 of you...

    market share is rising then

  10. Ian Damage

    toxic fumes?

    explains gthe drooling by the fanbois then

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Finally exposed...

    I've long thought that Mac users must be on drugs but now at long last the truth is out, it's the mind bending organic chemicals the machines emit that warp the mactards brains into thinking they are better.

    Nice marketing Steve.

  12. Mat


    "Libération claims that after contacting Apple France, they were told "engineers are working on the problem." ®"

    Does this mean that Apple admit that there *IS* a problem - That's rare!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    The smell of cannabis?

    The smell of cannabis? That would explain everything... I don't know the whole thing smells fishy to me.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    It's simple really,...

    ...this is just natural selection in action.

  15. Svantevid


    Phreaky will have a field day.

    Unless he's drowning his sorrows at the news that The Great Pinko Commie Hippie Terrorist Satan Barack Osama-Obama leads in polls.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Windows fanboism is strong in this thread

    Go run a virus scan on your computers or something.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    That'd be why the Kernel is called Darwin. It's killing off everyone stupid enough to buy a Mac. Natrual selection in action folks.

  18. Duncan


    the right people got wiff of this.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    French saying the Mac stinks ?


  20. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    Mac lovers would be best to just throw these on their Aga and buy a proper computer rather than an overpriced status symbol!

  21. Tim99 Silver badge

    Oh Dear! Some French boffin needs funding

    A long time ago, I was a real scientist. A small part of my job was to analyse volatile organic materials emitted from electronic systems.

    Guess what? If your device contains a phenolic printed circuit board (almost everything uses these), resistors, wrapped capacitors etc. They ALL emit benzene.

    If you really want to avoid benzene, get rid or your car (petrol contains up to a percent or so of benzene). Perhaps you could stay indoors to avoid traffic fumes - No, that won't work either - Fumes from your carpets, foam furniture and laminated board are likely to contain benzene (and a lot more more harmful materials). If you live in the modern world, benzene is a necessary evil.

    Anyway a Frenchman complaining about benzene contamination? Just Google "Perrier water" and "Benzene". Many bottled waters contain traces of benzene...

  22. David Buckley
    Dead Vulture

    oooh err

    so the factory that puts them puppies together seems to have a problem then....

    chances are that apple haven't bought out 100% capacity of the place, which then begs the question ..... what else have they contaminated?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    [Nelson/Ha Ha!![/Nelson]

    Macs Stink Official. !!!!

  24. steogede

    Just Macs?

    I find most new large electronic goods have give off a noticable 'new PC' smell - which irritates my eyes/nose/throat. I always just assumed it was the excess (highly toxic) flame retardents evaporating of the PCBs - is the smell from a Mac Pro any different, or is it just that other Macs don't have it (every PC I have ever bought has)?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Me am Bizarro! Mac am crap. You am correct.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Finite Quantity?

    Surely there is only so much ooze a capacitor can leak? working in fumes for 8 hours a day for a year? just what sort of volumes of chemicals are these guys suggesting?? perhaps they think the apple is converting raw materials (air and electricty and the odd cd) into these toxic substances??

    Rotting Apple Produces Ethanol... big news! no really.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Oh Dear! Some French boffin needs funding

    Quote: "Guess what? If your device contains a phenolic printed circuit board (almost everything uses these).."

    Only cheap 'punch and crunch' PCB's use phenolic resins.

    Modern, high value PCB's (read: motherboards and expansion cards) use Epoxy or BT Epoxy resins.

    If there are phenolic PCB's to be found anywhere in the MacPro (or any other PC) they will probably be inside the PSU.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    French Apples

    cue French Odour jokes...

    ...but seriously, been using mine since April and not noticed any significant smell that has not been present in any of the many PCs I've built over the years. You get that with electronics - which are by nature made of exotic cocktails of chemicals. Especially when you heat them up by putting electricity through them for long periods of time.

    Yes Benzine is horribly toxic ... Unleaded gasoline also contains it by the way - Its one of the many compounds added to stop your engine chewing up its valves without the lead to protect them.

  29. Rob Stiles

    Pot luck

    Hmm... I've often found Macs do indeed smell of cannabis but I've usually put that down to the trendy, young jet-setting, unique non-conformist a-typical mac designer smoking the stuff as he's using the computer.

  30. Luke Wells

    Come on Apple fanboys

    Wake up and smell the benzine!

    It amazes me that if Microsoft does one thing wrong, half the PC owners on the planet decide they hate Microsoft and Bill Gates

    Apple can release overpriced product after overpriced product, which pretty much all have their own problems (do you need reminding about scratched screens, faulty motherbords, dodgy batteries, overheating, strange noises?) and yet no matter what .... every single Mac owner on the planet is still deeply in love with Steve Jobs and would marry him and have his babies. Surely this sort of behavior should class Apple owners as a cult?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8 hours a day??

    You're all missing the point. Since when has a Frenchman ever worked 8 hours in a day?

  32. Dave
    Thumb Down

    Laser Printers

    In other news, reports suggested today that HP laser printers _may_ give off dangerous ozone gas - major cause of smog, and trigger of potentially fatal asthma attacks.

    (Just like every other laser printer.)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    So this is why Apples cost more

    No no no... you don't understand. The reason Macs cost so much more is because of the higher build quality that ensures they aren't made from cheap Chinese chemicals or crack around the corners when they warm up etc.

    PCs are only so cheap because they're made from asbestos, recycled bakerlite and depleted uranium, welded together with mercury, with the key lettering being lead paint.

    Any Mac user worth their salt knows all that, and will tell you if you pester them enough to coax it out of them...

  34. Bob Scratchit
    Jobs Halo

    smells of Cannabis

    Now, when I used to repair sound studio mixing desks, those things REALLY smelled of cannabis.

    And coffee, coke, etc...

    It's refreshing that Apple are engaging in a backlash against the overly-PC attitude that to live cleaner is to live better. Now, where's that BBQ and those 20 B&H (also emitters of vast benzene clouds)?

  35. Tim99 Silver badge

    @Only cheap 'punch and crunch' PCB's use phenolic resins

    Epoxy resins and plastics are ubiquatous in the modern environment. This is probably a worry as they are made from (and give off) Bisphenol A [2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl) propane]. This is known to be an endocrine disruptor. Studies have shown this material can give carcinogenic effects, neurotoxicity and developmental toxicity, as well as an ability to mimic oestrogen giving early puberty induction and damage to male reproductive systems.

    Oh, and epoxy resin PCBs also give off benzene when heated. Us chemist types often refer to plastics that contain phenolic compounds as phenolic resins - Bisphenol A is made from the condensation of phenol and acetone. Yes, I AM expert in this stuff...

  36. Anonymous Coward

    @Luke Wells - Come On Apple fanboys

    "every single Mac owner on the planet is still deeply in love with Steve Jobs and would marry him and have his babies"

    Don't be a fucking knob.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    @ AA

    I quote: "Don't be a fucking knob."

    But it's *only* the truth, AA, and the truth can *never* hurt us.

    Unlike Benzine and Polyphenol emissions.

    Probably why Steve's liver is so shot to bits.

  38. Danny Thompson
    Paris Hilton

    French boffin ???

    Surely a contradiction in terms?

    The only fumes he could smell were coming from his own garlic breath, la bête twat

    Paris? She likes a good boffin too

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Voice Of Reason

    I own 4 XP boxes, 1 Linux box, a Mac Pro (8 Core) and a Macbook Pro.

    When new all the computers had a funny smell that wore off pretty quickly. Seems quite normal. The Mac Pro has an huge set of fans that probably makes the situation far worse. That box really does pull some air through it even more than the PC next to it which I use to think required alot of fans.

    So this is abit of a non story. As for the Mac haters on this thread, jeeez, just get a life? I've witnessed every fanboy war since Commodore v Sinclair v Amstrad and it was as sad then as now. I loved owning all three of those machines so I could take advantage of all their strengths. And in 2008 I love owning XP, OSX and Linux boxes because again I can enjoy all 3 OS's. Get over it.

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