A french newspaper Liberation.fr has published a report (English translation) stating that Mac Pro owners run the risk of getting diseases as dangerous as leukemia (blood cancer) simply by using their computer. The newspaper was warned by a national agency scientist that the smell (already detected by many Mac Pro users on Apple forums) is actually toxic, composed of several toxins, including benzene.
An Apple Core reader requesting anonymity, sends the following details:
Here's a proof that the smell problem was previously known, check this page.
The real news here is that the smell is toxic... but still no official answer from Apple. I've submitted this piece of news to let english-speaking Mac Pro users know about it (since it was published in french). Libération is a very well known newspaper in France, it's not a blog or anything like that, so normally you should be able to trust this article.
I just called AppleCare (in France). They confirmed the problem but they told me it only concerned Mac Pros built before 2008 (without mentioning if being built in China was a condition, as suspected by users on the Apple forums). Mine is early 2008 so I should not worry they said.
When I asked them to send me this answer in written form, even by e-mail, they refused. They put me on hold for 40 minutes to forward me to the customer relations service, but apparently they didn't want to talk to me so I got instead a level 2 technical agent who told me the exact same thing: don't worry, we guess your Mac Pro is safe, but we can't confirm in written form which Mac Pro have toxicity problems until Apple decides to communicate about it. Apple did nothing since they knew of this problem, which may be in the beginning of 2007, so we can still wait very long for any change in their policy...
The fact that my Mac Pro may not be concerned is not the problem I have with their answer. The problem is that I could very well own one of those toxic Mac Pro and never know about it, with Apple never issuing a Mac Pro recall to prevent serious health problems. Considering the problem exists for more than a year, some people have been knowingly exposed to toxins, and if some of them ever develop a blood cancer it will not be before some years, and Apple will silently get out of this problem. This problem is as bad for Apple as the contaminated milk problem for China, and it may very well be the first scandal of this kind in the computer industry.
Apple doesn't want to confirm which Mac Pro have a problem because they know users could sue them for this reason. I invite all Mac Pro owners around the world to send a letter to Apple and ask them which Mac Pro have the toxicity problem, in written form. If Apple doesn't change its methods very fast, a class-action lawsuit may unfortunately be the next step...