A French newspaper is reporting that the widely reported smell emanating from Mac Pro computers is toxic, and may cause leukemia or just straight out death.
According to Liberation.fr (english translation), as reported on ZDNet, the odor being emitted from Mac Pros manufactured before 2008 includes a number of chemicals including Benzene, a known carcinogen that in high doses is leathal.
I’ll let Wikipedia explain the risk:
The short term breathing of high levels of benzene can result in death, while low levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Eating or drinking foods containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and death.
The major effects of benzene are chronic (long-term) exposure through the blood. Benzene damages the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and depress the immune system, increasing the chance of infection. Benzene causes leukemia and is associated with other blood cancers and pre-cancers of the blood.
Human exposure to benzene is a global health problem. Benzene targets liver, kidney, lung, heart and the brain and can cause DNA strand breaks, chromosomal damage etc. Benzene causes cancer in both animals and humans. Benzene was first reported to induce cancer in humans in the 1920s. The chemical industry claims it wasn’t until 1979 that the cancer inducing properties were determined “conclusively” in humans, despite many references to this fact in the medical literarure. Industry exploited this “discrepancy” and tried to discredit animal studies which showed benzene caused cancer saying that they weren’t relevant to humans. Benzene has been shown to cause cancer in both sexes of multiple species of laboratory animals exposed via various routes.
…and that’s just part of the entry.
According to the report, Apple France wouldn’t go on the record, but if there is even the slightest chance that this story is true, Apple needs to act NOW.