The chip manufacturing industry is extremely complicated.
Here are two of the most common ways workers are being exposed to chemicals.
Solvents are widely used in electronics for cleansing, stripping,
degreasing, operations, encapsulation, and as solders. These are activities
which are defining the work day for many workers in Silicon Valley.
Solvents are also the cause of a large portion of workplace hazards
and exposure problems in the industry. The following have been chosen
because of their frequency in the industry.
The industry uses many potentially dangerous gases. Gases are found
in ion implanters, diffusion furnaces, expitaxial reactors, etc. Gases
are also used in quality control to detect flaws in electronic components.
According to an industry journalist, many semiconductor diffusion furnaces
are "all too likely to explode." So the exposure can be over
a long period of time, or from a short blast.