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Protesters at a rally staged against IBM (photo from San Francisco Independent Media Center).

The main problem in prosecution is that the industry does not have a single overarching and definitive process for manufacturing, and it is difficult to pinpoint one particular compound as causinga certain health problem because some plants use as many as 300 chemicals. Also, many of the manufacturing processes take place inclosed systems, so exposure to harmful substances is often difficult to detect unless monitored on a daily basis.

Executives and spokespeople for the semiconductor industry maintain that any chip workers’ cancers andother medical problems are more likely due to factors unrelated to the job, such as family history, drinking, smoking, or eatinghabits. They also say that over the years, as awareness of chemical hazards has grown, they have made efforts to phase out toxicchemicals and to lower exposure to others. They insist that they use state-of-the-art process equipment and chemical transfersystems that limit or prevent physical exposure to chemicals and point out that the substances used in the semiconductor industryare used in other industries without a major health or safety problem.

What environmental risks are involved?

In theory, attention to cleanliness is in the manufacturer’s best interest not only from a health perspective butalso from an economic. Many chemicals used in the production process are not expensive in and of themselves; however, the costof maintaining these materials in an ultra-clean state can be quite high. This encourages the close monitoring of usage, theminimization of consumption, and the development of recycling and reprocessing techniques. Also, the rising costs of chemicaldisposal are prompting companies to conduct research into alternatives that use more environmentally friendly methods andmaterials. Individual companies and worldwide trade associations were active in reducing the use and emission of greenhouse gasesduring the 1990’s, and the industry as a whole has substantially reduced emissions over the last twenty years.

Nonetheless, there has been a history of environmental problems linked to the industry in Silicon Valley andother technology centers. To begin with, a tremendous amount of raw materials is invested in the manufacturing of semiconductors everyyear.

Moreover, a typical facility producing semiconductors on six-inch wafers reportedly uses not only 240,000kilowatt hours of electricity but also over 2 million gallons of water every day [9]. Newer facilities that produce eight-inch and twelve-inch wafers consume even more, with some estimates going as high as fivemillion gallons of water daily. While recycling and reusing of water does occur, extensive chemical treatment is required forremediation, and in dry or desert areas such as Albuquerque, New Mexico, home to plants for Motorola, Philips Semiconductor, AlliedSignal and Signetics, Intel, and other high-tech firms, the high consumption of water necessary for the manufacturing ofsemiconductors can pose an especially significant drain on an already scarce natural resource [10]. The existence of economic mainstays including the mining industry and the established presences of Sandia National Laboratories andthe Los Alamos National Laboratory make New Mexico an attractive location for high-tech tenants. However, the opening of fabricationfacilities in the state leaves its farmers and ranchers in constant competition with the corporations for rights to water consumption.On average, the manufacturing of just 1/8-inch of a silicon wafer requires about 3,787 gallons of wastewater, not to mention 27pounds of chemicals and 29 cubic feet of hazardous gases [11].

Questions & Answers

Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Pdf generation test course - alternate pdf style. OpenStax CNX. Jul 11, 2012 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11436/1.3
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