Assessing Health Risks Associated with Specialty Chemical Handling in the Semiconductor Industry: Employing Occupational Exposure Banding Strategies

Rachel Zisook; Andy Monnot
(Cardno ChemRisk)

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The semiconductor industry uses a broad range of specialty chemicals in the manufacture of electronic components and products, such as silicon wafers and integrated circuits. Workers involved in the manufacture of these electronic products may be exposed to a multitude of chemicals over the course of a workday and throughout their careers. Many of the compounds used in the industry have been associated with increased rates of cancer, birth defects, and other serious illnesses. In the absence of established occupational exposure limits and risk management practices, there are a variety of methods that can be applied to evaluate potential health risks in order to protect and inform workers. For example, in 2017, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released draft guidance for Occupational Exposure Banding (OEB). This guidance describes a systematic process for connecting qualitative or quantitative hazard information on selected health effect endpoints to defined target inhalation exposure level ranges, which are expected to be protective of worker health. This presentation will discuss utilizing the NIOSH OEB approach to evaluate and manage health risks associated with the use of specialty chemicals in the semiconductor industry. Additionally, this presentation will discuss methods for deriving occupational exposure limits for chemicals in which sufficient toxicological information is available.

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