Joseph LaDou, M.O.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH IN THE MICROELECTRONICS INDUSTRY
University of California School of Medicine, USA
Full article (PDF), ENG
Many governments offer incentives to microelectronics companies to locate in their regions. Most semiconductor chip manufac¬ture is taking place in Asia where occupational health research, protective standards, and enforcement are at unacceptably low levels. Moreover, the printed circuit board industry is now largely concentrated in Asia. Some American and European compa¬nies have expanded microelectronics manufacture in Central and Eastern Europe where it is hoped that higher standards of occu¬pational health and safety can be achieved.Occupational illnesses occur at a high rate in electronics workers, particularly among semiconductor workers. Microelectronics manufacture is done in cleanrooms where air is recirculated after dust is removed by particulate filters. Many different chemicals, metal dopants, and other materials are used in the semiconductor industry. The chemical fumes and vapors that are not removed by air filtration are recirculated with continuous worker exposure. The industry also presents problems of radiation exposure as well as a variety of occupational stressors, including ergonomic issues.
Key words: microelectronics, electronics, semiconductor, printed circuit board, cleanroom
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