Department of Public Health Sciences

Patterns of chemical use and exposure control in the Semiconductor Health Study

Hallock, M. F., S. K. Hammond, C. J. Hines, S. R. Woskie and M. B. Schenker

Am J Ind Med. 1995. 28(6):681-697.

Information on chemical use and exposure control between 1986 and 1990 was collected from 14 companies participating in the Semiconductor Health Study. Questionnaires and site visits provided data used to develop exposure categories for three epidemiological studies: prospective, historical, and cross-sectional. Patterns of use of target chemicals were compiled for 82 silicon-wafer fabrication rooms (fabs), including 47 from which subjects were selected for study. Chemical use was examined by operation, year, and epidemiological component. Target agents for epidemiological analyses were present in more than 50% of fabs. Use of these agents was fairly constant from 1986 to 1990, except for a moderate increase in use of propylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate, a solvent being substituted for ethylene-based glycol ethers (EGE) in photoresists. The distribution of personal protective equipment, engineering controls, and other factors potentially affecting employee exposure was also examined. Controls designed to manage processes or high acute toxicity were present in most fabs; their prevalence remained unchanged from 1986 through 1990. Controls designed to reduce exposures to chemicals with low acute toxicity were less widely distributed; their prevalence increased moderately from 1986 to 1990.

Keywords: Human, *Occupational Exposure/prevention & control, *Occupational Health, *Pharmaceutical Preparations/adverse effects, Protective Clothing, *Semiconductors, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Ventilation

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