The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced that the industry will form an independent Scientific Panel of Experts (SPE) to review data on whether potential cancer health risks exist within the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry.
"While we do not believe there is credible evidence of increased risk of cancer associated with working in the semiconductor industry, we believe it will be useful to assess the existing data to determine whether more extensive evaluation is warranted," said SIA President George Scalise.
The SIA will select a chariman with a recognized and proven track record on occupational health issues to lead the SPE. The SIA and the chair will then select panel members based on their recognized expertise in areas such as epidemiology, industrial hygiene, toxicology and cancer research.
The SPE is the latest in a series of initatives by the semiconductor industry to aggressively investigate and manage potential health issues. In1989, the SIA funded an epidemiological study in response to concerns regarding potential reproductive health hazards in clean-rooms. The study and subsequent recommendations implemented by the industry resulted in the elimination of certain ethylene-based glycol ethers (EGEs) that were previously used within the industry.
The latest OSHA statistics show injury and illeness rates for semiconductor workers are 3.1 cases per 100 employees.