The European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) program, signed into law June 1, 2007, has cost implications that could make manufacturing in Europe overly expensive, said Dawn Speranza, an Intel Corp. environmental, health and safety (ESH) engineer...
By 2010, REACH requires that the chemicals used in high volumes, or that present high levels of concern, must be registered. The deadlines stretch out as far as 2018 for registration of relatively benign chemicals, or those used in small volumes. By one estimate, the total REACH program will impact 30,000 companies and 30,000 different chemicals. Substances judged to present high risks could be banned and removed from European semiconductor fabs, she noted, estimating that there may be as many as 20 chemicals that could be challenged as unsafe. Now, Intel lawyers and lobbyists in Europe are working to reduce the number of chemicals that could be strictly controlled. The law requires toxicology testing and other expensive procedures intended to guard against environmental damage and harm to human health...
The situation is similar in China, a nation that has signed international agreements on environmental controls, including the Stockholm Accords, which go into effect in 2010. Speranza said, “For a chemical that has never been registered in China, we estimate that it will cost Intel $150,000 to $200,000 per substance for the toxicity testing alone.” Intel announced in March that it is building a chip factory in Dalian, China.
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