Chemical Use Restrictions
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In the past, the primary focus of environmental regulations has been on discharges to the environment (i.e. emissions to air, or discharges to water and land). With rare exceptions, the actual use of chemicals has not been restricted, as long as those chemicals were managed in such a way that discharge limitations could be met. This is now beginning to change. Recent activities, both in the U.S. and overseas, are beginning to place increasing emphasis on restricting the use of, or even banning, some chemicals. This is especially troubling for the semiconductor industry, where the relentless cycle of innovation drives companies to constantly explore new chemistries for leading edge manufacturing processes. The modern EHS department will need to be up to date on these potential bans and restrictions in order to help the company decide which chemicals should and should not be pursued for new manufacturing processes. This paper will focus on recent and proposed future activities aimed at restricting uses of chemicals and chemical classes. It will discuss pending regulatory actions in the U.S. and abroad that have the potential to restrict chemicals that may be important to the semiconductor industry.