Lab to Fab, Fab to Dust – EHS Issues Associated with Transition of Materials, Methods and Processes from Laboratory Development to Production and Decommissioning

Microelectronics fabrication production changed rapidly and substantially during the 1980s. By the early to mid-1990s microelectronics fabrication had evolved to relatively finite equipment and materials configurations. During these same time intervals environmental health and safety strategies were formulated and implemented, based on consensus standards established through applied research and professional collegial development. Key strategies included occupational health protocols, including industrial hygiene sampling and profiling and medical surveillance programs, energy transfer protocols for highly reactive and pyrophoric materials and protocols for basic safety programs and descriptive and quantitative epidemiology. Two factors change the current and future landscape for the environmental health and safety professional now practicing in the field: de-commissioning of former spaces and equipment and preparation for processes using new materials and equipment configuration. This paper identifies physical and chemical hazards associated with these two elements of practice. Specifies applications reviewed include treatment and delivery/dispensing systems, hazard assessment strategies, and handling practices for hazardous materials. Hazardous materials of interest include decomposition products of previously used materials and new materials in development for manufacturing applications. These applications and materials are reviewed in the standard industrial hygiene context of RECOGNITION => EVALUATION => CONTROL, helping the environmental health and safety professional to establish programs that integrate past and current technology with developing technology.



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