back to article Apple probes poison-pumping Mac claim

Apple has found "no evidence" to justify a claim that new Macs are releasing toxic gases, it said yesterday. Last week, French newspaper Liberation reported that a lab worker - who refused to be named - employed by the state-run Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) alleged that there was more to the 'freshly …


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  1. censored

    Toxic gases coming from the keyboard?

    I already feel more suggestible, and that's after just one sniff.

  2. Sleepy


    He's a lab worker, I'm sure there's no shortage of irritants / carcinogens / flesh eating virii at hand without having to resort to sniffing his laptop.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Strangely familiar...

    hmm, cool and funky gadget manufactured by a secretive company led by a charasmatic geek, found to be pumping toxic gas into the environment... Wasn't this a storyline on Dr.Who last season?

    I for one welcome our new Sontaran overlords.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Nothing new

    M$'s OS has stunk for years.

  5. Bad Beaver

    even with a new Mac...

    ... it pays to use windows every once in a while.

  6. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Happened before

    It's happened before. The chinese plants where the PSU's are built have sprayed them with insecticide and other things. This should have been cleaned off.

  7. MattW


    You don't want stuff doing that (or indeed evaporating).

  8. Simon
    Thumb Up

    But do they...

    Pump out as much Apple poison as Webster does?

    Hey where is he? Hes been very quiet recently, maybe he bought one those toxic Macs and succumbed.

    I seem to remember my old ZX81, it used to get hot and smell of warm solder.

    ooh I miss that smell, it still gets me all nostalgic when someone is using a soldering iron, aww.

  9. Sam


    Isn't benzine what the Germans call petrol?

  10. Ralph B

    Fight That Impulse

    Frenchman? Noxious odours? Must. Control. Stereotypical. Comment.

  11. snafu

    Smell different

    This is not the usual smell of new electronic devices but a distinct hot rubber-like sugary smell that accumulates in the room after a few hours of operation. My 2006-class Mac Pro does it, too (less than before but still in a noticeable way).

  12. Anonymous Coward


    Macs poision French people and don't come with Vista? Where can I buy one of these wonderful machines?

  13. Martin

    Something fishy...

    Maybe it should have read "poisson" ?

  14. arran
    Dead Vulture

    "distinct hot rubber-like sugary smell "

    I Love the smell of Hardware in the morning.....

  15. Richard Speight
    Paris Hilton

    Stereotyping is too easy...

    <quote>the researcher said, his eyes, nose and throat had become severely irritated.</quote>

    That'll be the 40 Gitanes he smokes a day then.

    Pars, 'cos she often has a tickling sensation at the back of her throat (sorry. Coar. Taxi).

  16. Matt

    I can has spelcheker?

    'evapourating'? 'Evaporate' isn't one of those words where it has a 'u' in the british spelling you know!

  17. Christoph Schneeberger

    @Sam: not really...

    I can't talk for the germans as swiss, but the thing (benzen) is called benzol round here and was used as solvent in all sorts of chemical processes, it smells much like marzipan and is very cancerogenic. Older people associate shoe glue with that smell since that's where it has been used ages ago. When you breath it, it gives a nice kick like alcohol first and then evolves to a bad headache (no i don't consume it, i was working in a plant in young years where benzol/benzen was used a lot).

    The stuff is dangerous, the stuff definitely shouldn't come out of anything one takes home - no matter whichever crappy vendor sells it.

    What worries me, is that said vendor (and probably others as well) is unable to deny or confirm that they use benzol or not in the production of their items, one would expect they had a clue what they have put in that shiny box when they made it...

    Also, using benzol in a production line is a sign for cheap 3rd world production, since it should not be used anymore as solvent in production of plastics since years (because it is cancerogenic, while modern replacements are not).

    Bottomline: if my gear starts smeeling sweet and marzipan-like after minutes or hours of operations, I throw it far-far away until it stops stinking, no matter what the logo on the box is.

  18. Terry

    Poison Apple

    What?! No one has done a Snow White joke yet? And you call this a geek site! Although the AC post about the Sontarans was first rate!

    I wonder, is this the same group of Macs that were dying (frying) and caused the big warranty stink a couple years ago? A friend of mine got sucked up in that and ended up buying about 3 macbooks in the course of 18 months before it was all over. Toxic fumes could explain a lot of why people put up with this. I would have thought after the second one wintel would start looking pretty good.

    Regardless, exceeding the operating limits by about 100 degrees seems like it could cause some interesting off gassing (to go along with the pretty blue smoke).

  19. Eric Dennis
    Gates Horns

    Harmful odorous emminations?

    "The question is, are those chemicals particularly harmful and emitted in doses sufficient to cause consumers harm?"


  20. Anonymous Coward

    A pedant writes

    Benzene and benzine are most definitely NOT the same thing.

    Benzene = cyclic 6C hydrocarbon

    Benzine = mixture of aliphatic short-chain alkanes.

    + something about Wintards/Mactards/epic FAIL/lulz etc.

  21. Scott

    Who produces their own stuff anymore?

    Christoph Schneeberger • Thursday 2nd October 2008 15:21 GMT:


    "What worries me, is that said vendor (and probably others as well) is unable to deny or confirm that they use benzol or not in the production of their items, one would expect they had a clue what they have put in that shiny box when they made it..."


    Welcome to the outsourcing era. Nobody seems to want to make their own stuff anymore. I don't know where the Macs are made now, but when I ordered my iBook about 7 years ago, it shipped from Taiwan. Now I think they're assembled in China.

    Even so, it may not specifically be the Apple hardware responsible (assuming the Frenchman's claims are correct, which they probably aren't considering the lack of other complainants). Remember that those things have a processor from Intel; a GPU from either Intel, or an AMD or NVIDIA partner; memory from Hyundai, Samsung, etc.; a hard drive maybe from Hitachi or Toshiba; and so on. Who knows what the offending component could be.

  22. elderlybloke
    Paris Hilton


    Hello Sam,

    The dangerous stuff is Benzene (e as in death).

    Petrol is also called Benzine (i as in life) i Not the deadly stuff.

    Carry On Sniffing.

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