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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 12, NUMBER 5, MAY 1999

Computer-Chip Manufacturers to Cut PFCs

Item #d99may53

According to a May 6, 1999, EPA press release, the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) has agreed to reduce emissions of perfluorocompounds (PFCs), the most potent and persistent of all greenhouse gases, by at least 10% below 1995 levels by 2010. PFCs are used for plasma etching thin films and cleaning chemical vapor deposition tool chambers. Use of these chemicals are critical to current semiconductor manufacturing methods and reducing emissions is a formidable technical challenge. These chemicals have 10,000 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide and have atmospheric lifetimes ranging from 2,000 to 50,000 years. The WSC includes the Semiconductor Industry Association of the United States, the European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association, the Electronic Industries Association of Japan, the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association, and the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association. WSC members produce more than 90% of the world’s semiconductors. The USEPA and the Japan Ministry of International Trade and Industry actively supported and encouraged the WSC agreement.

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