Silica Silicon Chips

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Information about Silica Silicon Chips

Published on January 22, 2008

Author: Doride


Slide1:  Silica and Silicon Chips Cradle to Grave Zack Kahn Race, Poverty and the Environment Professor Raquel R. Pinderhughes Urban Studies Program San Francisco State University Spring 2003 Public has permission to use the material herein, but only if author, course, university and professor are credited Silica & Silicon Chips:  Silica & Silicon Chips This presentation is designed to describe the cradle to grave lifecycle of silica used in silicon chips, paying particular attention to the social, environmental and human health impacts of the processes associated with silica and silicon chips. Silica & Silicon Chips:  Silica & Silicon Chips In this presentation, you will study: Extraction of silica The production of silicon chips Use of the electronics products silicon chips are found in Transportation involved throughout the entire lifecycle of silica and silicon chips Disposal of these products containing silicon chips after they are no longer useful Either go through the presentation page by page or use the links in the side bar to jump to various sections that interest you What are silicon chips?:  What are silicon chips? Also known as: silicon wafers, integrated circuits, microchips, or semiconductors Developed in 1958 by John Kirby of Texas Instruments to make televisions and radios smaller and cheaper by replacing electrical circuits made from many separate parts with electrical circuits made out of one piece of silicon. What have they done?:  What have they done? “transform[ed] room-sized computers into today’s laptops [and led] to many other inventions from mobile telephones and bar code scanners to video games and the Internet” (Chorlton, 2002). Click the products button on the left if you want to see more products made possible by silicon chips. What is silica?:  What is silica? Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) A mineral found in quartz, sand, rock, crystal, flint, jasper, and opal. High quality silica is a critical component of silicon chips and is mostly found in quartz. Different from lower grade silica used in glass bottles, lubricants for mechanical tools, concrete and bricks, and silicone implants Why is this presentation important?:  Why is this presentation important? Economic scale of semiconductor industry: $140 billion in 2000 with an average 16% growth per year over the past few decades (Williams et al., 2002). Horrifying social, environmental, and human health impacts at almost every level: silica extraction, silicon chip production, transportation, and disposal of products containing silicon chips. EXTRACTION:  EXTRACTION In this section you will study environmental, human health, and social impacts associated with the mining and smelting of silica Impacts to mine site Silicosis Case Study: Omaruru Water Smelting Criticism of project Mining of silica:  Mining of silica Most mines are open-cut as opposed to underground mines. Open cut mines involve digging a pit on the surface of the earth, while underground mines involve tunneling into the earth. An open cut mine. Impacts to mine site:  Impacts to mine site All soil, vegetation, and rock removed from site “drilling and blasting, loading into trucks with excavators or large mechanical shovels and draglines, and trucking to surface stockpile areas or directly to plants (Tasmania Public Land Use Commission [TPLUC], 1996).” Land becomes useless for previous users: people, animals and plants Other impacts: silicosis:  Other impacts: silicosis “Silicosis is a disabling lung disease caused by overexposure to respirable crystalline silica. When workers inhale crystalline silica, the lung tissue reacts by developing fibrotic nodules around the trapped silica particles, making it difficult to breathe. Overexposure to dust that contains microscopic particles of crystalline silica can cause scar tissue to form in the lungs, which reduces their ability to extract oxygen from air breathed. Silicosis (1):  Silicosis (1) “The effects of continually breathing respirable silica dusts are both cumulative and progressive. Acute silicosis occurs where airborne exposures are the highest; symptoms can develop within a few weeks or months. Development of chronic silicosis, the most common form, occurs over a period of years and often goes undetected. As the disease progresses, the following symptoms may be present: shortness of breath following physical exertion, severe cough, fatigue, loss of appetite, chest pains and fever. Silica exposure may also impair the ability to fight infections, which makes one more susceptible to certain illnesses, such as tuberculosis. Silicosis (2):  Silicosis (2) “In December 1996, the International Agency for Research on Cancer upgraded the classification of crystalline silica to “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1) based on a relatively large number of recent epidemiological studies. This classification is based on inhalation of dust in the form of quartz or cristobalite” (Mahoney, 1999). Silicosis: whom it affects:  Silicosis: whom it affects Affects not only those who enter the mine site, but those who live and work near the mine site Worldwide, “more than 1 million workers are exposed to crystalline silica, which is known to cause silicosis” (Mahoney, 1999). U.S.: More than 250 workers die due to silicosis each year We can assume that because worker safety standards in the United States are generally higher than those of nations with lower Gross Domestic Products (GDPs), that the rate of death due to silicosis among workers is higher in those countries. Approximately 3.4 per 10,000 workers experience respiratory illness from occupational exposure to dusts, including silica dust. Most are mining workers. There are many methods for controlling exposure, however, they are either not implemented or not effective enough since people are still diagnosed with silicosis Case study: Omaruru, Namibia:  Case study: Omaruru, Namibia Water supply in Omaruru:  Water supply in Omaruru The main use for water for the mine will be for spraying onto mines are stockpiles, which is the primary method for reducing silica dust that causes silicosis The Omaruru River provides water for the town of Omaruru and other communities downstream. Because water is limited in Omaruru, Namibian Metals, the company creating the project, is exploring the option of using sewage water. Sewage water contains many disease-spreading elements, which will further contaminate the ground water supply that feeds the Omaruru River Importance of water (1):  Importance of water (1) Humans rely on it Drinking Crop irrigation Cooking Cleaning Livestock Plant & animal habitats rely on it Water is a connected system. If there is pollution in one area, it will likely spread to another area both in surface water and in underground aquifers. Importance of water (2):  Importance of water (2) Decrease in water quality and quantity lead to many hardships for people, such as: Having to use water from distant locations Allowing livestock to die Facing poorer nutrition due to the inability to grow crops Diseases from drinking contaminated water Water contamination from mining:  Water contamination from mining Siltation of waterways results from Spraying of water onto mines and stockpiles to control silica dust Erosion of exposed surfaces Pumping of water from mines Rainwater movement through stockpiles Acid mine drainage Also, “[a]cid mine drainage results when rain water and ground water pass[…]through mine workings and become acidified due to the leaching of exposed sulfides” (TPLUC, 1996). Smelting:  Smelting Extracts the metal from everything that will not be used later in the production process and happens after mining Uses excessive amounts of heat, which in the case of the Omaruru project will be produced from charcoal. To reach Namibian Metals’ goal of 20,000 tons per year of high-grade silicon, the smelter “will require 25,000 tons of charcoal per annum, which will be produced in retorts [a vessel or chamber in which ssubstances are distilled or decomposed by heat (Merriam-Webster, 2002)] supplied by the Belgium company, Lambiotte” (Graig, 2001). Concerns of environmentalists include: Environmental soundness of harvesting 400 tons of charcoal and wood chips from the region on a daily basis over the projected 20-year lifetime of the project Greenhouse gas emissions from the smelter Smelting is power intensive:  Smelting is power intensive With the erection of NamPower’s new N$1 billion 400kV Interconnector, the Namibian electricity provider was able to sign an agreement with South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, to supply Namibia Metals with 38mega-watt for the running of the smelters. NamPower will supply the two smelters from the Omaruru substation, which is 3km away from the intended site (Graig 2001). Precise environmental, social, and human health impacts of “NamPower’s new $1 billion 400kV Interconnector” and extraction and use of charcoal are not within the scope of this paper. However, it is known that power plants and electricity have highly negative impacts on people and the environment and in this case, Namibian Metals is a major user of the electricity from the new power plant. Criticism of the project:  Criticism of the project Omaruru citizens have criticized this project because, like many other such resource exploitation projects in the developing world, “Namibia will be stuck with the negative long-term effects while the first world happily buys the safe and clean end product.” Namibian Metals is promoting the project by pointing out the jobs that will be created, but the people of Omaruru have expressed very little desire for new jobs and only expressed concern over their health and environment. The project will most likely lead to degradation of water supply, destruction of bosky lands, and cases of silicosis for residents and workers PRODUCTION of silicon chips:  PRODUCTION of silicon chips In this section you will study environmental, human health, and social impacts associated with the production of silicon chips Chip fabrication industry overview Inputs, wastes, and pollutants Working conditions and consequences Other damages Chip fabrication industry (1):  Chip fabrication industry (1) High grade silica used Different from lower grade silica used in glass bottles, lubricants for mechanical tools, concrete and bricks, and silicone implants Referred to as silicon chip fabrication, semiconductor fabrication, or wafer fabrication It is the “construction of a rectangular ‘die’, a highly intricate set of patterned layers of doped silicon, insulators and metals that forms the functional heart of a microchip” (Williams, Ayres, & Heller, 2002). Chip fabrication industry (2):  Chip fabrication industry (2) Chip fabrication takes place worldwide. The chip fabrication plants I discuss in this presentation are located in the United States. Plants are now emerging in many other countries, such as Isreal, India, Ireland, Russia, and China (Parthasarathy, 2002). Remember that as with most other industries, operations in countries with lower GDPs are more damaging to workers an the environment than operations in countries with higher GDPs. Chip fabrication Industry (3):  Chip fabrication Industry (3) The chip fabrication industry has an incredible amount influence and power. “At the end of each year, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the results of its survey on occupational health and safety, the Semiconductor Industry Association, which calls itself ‘the leading voice for the semiconductor industry,’ and whose member companies constitute more than 90 percent of U.S.-based semiconductor production, issues a press release announcing that the industry ranks among the safest manufacturing industries in the nation” (Fisher, 2001). As you will see from the following slides, the semiconductor industry is highly damaging to the environment and human health Inputs cause significant damage (1):  Inputs cause significant damage (1) According to Williams et al. (2002), Microchips themselves are small, valuable and have a wide variety of applications, which naively suggests that they deliver large benefits to society with negligible environmental impact. On the other hand, the semiconductor industry uses hundreds, even thousands of chemicals, many in significant quantities and many of them toxic. Emissions of these chemicals have potential impact on air, water and soil systems and potentially pose an occupational risk for line workers. Inputs cause significant damage (2):  Inputs cause significant damage (2) Although products contained in a silicon chip are not highly polluting, due to a chip’s nature of requiring high amounts of inputs of energy and chemicals during creation, its life cycle creates high amounts of pollution Inputs Required (1):  Inputs Required (1) According to Williams et al. (2002), to make the average 2-gram microchip: 1600 grams of fossil fuels and 72 grams of chemicals necessary “Indicat[es] that the environmental weight of semiconductors far exceeds their small size.” The reason for the extraordinarily high amount of inputs is that “Microchips and many other high-tech goods are extremely low-entropy, highly organized forms of matter. Given that they are fabricated using relatively high entropy starting materials, it is natural to expect that a substantial investment of energy and process materials is needed for the transformation into an organized form.” Inputs required (2):  Inputs required (2) According to (Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition [SVTC], 1997), one six-inch wafer requires the following inputs 3,200 cubic feet of bulk gases, 22 cubic feet of hazardous gases, 2,275 gallons of deionized water, 20 pounds of chemicals, and 285 kilowatt hours of electrical power Wastes produced:  Wastes produced According to (SVTC, 1997), one six-inch wafer produces the following wastes 25 pounds of sodium hydroxide 2,840 gallons of waste water 7 pounds of miscellaneous hazardous wastes Pollutants released into air:  Pollutants released into air Acid fumes Volatile organic compounds Toxic gases, including arsine Deionized water Solvents Alkaline cleaning solutions Acids Photo resists Aqueous metals Waste etchants Waste aqueous developing solutions Waste aqeuous metals chromium According to (SVTC, 1997), one six-inch wafer releases the following pollutants into the air Significance (1):  Significance (1) You can see from the preceding slides that a significant amount of inputs is required. To illustrate, I would like to draw your attention to two inputs that we can all relate to: water and electricity. 2,275 gallons of water are needed to create one microchip, which is about the amount of water the average American consumes in two weeks (Archer & Turner, 1997). 285 kilowatt hours of electrical power are needed to create one microchip, which is more than the amount of electricity the average American household consumes in one week (Energy Information Administration, 2003). Significance (2):  Significance (2) We now see that there are a significant amount of inputs, but how do we understand their impacts? “Dirty secrets of the chip making industry” published in USA Today, Jan 12, 1998 describes the chemicals used in chip making. Some chemicals are suspected carcinogens and reproductive toxins. Others, such as hydrogen fluoride, a colorless liquid or gas, are so strong that they can cause severe burns deep beneath the skin. Arsine gas is the most toxic and attacks red blood cells. A leaking cylinder in a typical living room would be lethal with one whiff. Phosphine gas, also toxic, destroys lung tissue. Silane gas ignites on contact with air and has engulfed workers in flames. “When you consider that Intel’s Rio Rancho, New Mexico facility can process 5,000 eight-inch silicon wafers in a single week, the environmental costs are staggering” (SVTC, 1997). Significance (3):  Significance (3) What is even more frightening is that the consequences from exposure to many of the inputs, wastes, and pollutants in unknown, or if it is known is kept secret from the public. The following slides illustrate the results of poor working conditions and the impacts to workers. However, in many cases, it is uncertain which inputs, wastes, or pollutants are responsible for the damage. Working conditions:  Working conditions “The employees work inside low-story buildings in ‘clean rooms that are so free of dust that even hospital operating rooms are dirty by comparison. Workers wear head-to-toe suites not to protect themselves but to keep their skin flakes, breath, and hair from contaminating the valuable chips” (“Dirty secrets,” 1998). The head-to-toe suits:  The head-to-toe suits “[The suits] are deplorably inadequate to protect workers against skin contact with the acids, solvents and other chemicals they use as a daily part of their job. Even worse, most clean-room ventilation systems are designed to recirculate the majority of the air used in the workplace, so as to prevent new infusions of airborne dust—in effect, workers are breathing the same chemically suffused air over and over again throughout the workday “(Fisher, 2001). Why conditions are so bad:  Why conditions are so bad “Corporate management has stated that if they did everything that has been recommended to them, they would be out of business” (James Cochran, now a safety manager for Phillips Semiconductor in “Dirty secrets,” 1998) Those in the business of silicon chip fabrication have said that they care more about turning out a quality product and making a profit that protecting their employees from the chemicals previously mentioned and the problems that result when they come in contact with those chemicals. Accidents are common (1):  Accidents are common (1) A toxic yellow-brown cloud rose from the floor at a Teccor Electronics computer chip plant in Irving, Texas. Acids had leaked from a faulty pump onto silicon wafers littering the floor. The reaction created the dangerous fumes. Three employees, dizzy and struggling to breathe, wound up in the hospital. For weeks, they suffered respiratory problems. Teccor President Al Lapierre says employees ‘needlessly stuck their noses’ in the fumes. But federal investigators saw another problem that day in 1995. ‘Safety was secondary to production’ wrote an investigator for the Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA), which governs workplace practices. continued… Accidents are common (2):  Accidents are common (2) Supervisors knew the floor was dirty but did not clean it because they would have had to close the plant for several days, OSHA said (“Dirty secrets,” 1998). That the electronics industry is a clean one is completely false When dealing with such dangerous chemicals, minor mistakes or problems, such as mixing the wrong chemicals or a leaking hazardous waste drum, often lead to major disasters. Results of working conditions (1):  Results of working conditions (1) Cancer Miscarriages Birth defects Other health problems Results of working conditions (2):  Results of working conditions (2) “[F]ormer IBM workers Michael Ruffing and Faye Calton are the parents of Zachary Ruffing, 15, who was born blind and with facial deformities so severe he cannot breathe through his mouth or nose. They originally sued for $40 million in damages. Other [IBM] cases name cancers of the gastrointestinal and lymphatic systems; of the skin, bone and brain; and, most commonly, of the breast and testes. The cases filed by [employees of another plant] reflect a similar suite of cancers, the majority of which—like the cancers listed above—have all shown increased rates over the past 20 years” (Fisher 2001). Results of working conditions (3):  Results of working conditions (3) According to a study cited in the Fisher article, U.S. IBM workers of five or more years between 1975 and 1989 were 2.5 times more likely to die of primary brain cancer than the general population. According to the Dirty Secrets article, semiconductor workers “have a 29% higher rate of exposure to chemicals that resulted in lost work days than did all manufacturing workers in 1995.” Studies also have shown higher rates of respiratory problems, dermatitis, and miscarriages among chip workers than other manufacturing workers. Very little other research is available because so many chemicals are used in microchip fabrication and so little is known about them that it is difficult to discover exactly which chemicals are causing which problems. Why conditions don’t improve:  Why conditions don’t improve Employees often think that their health problems are not work-related because they may not relate their health problem to their work due to company doctors and management telling them that their workplaces are safe. Often, they do not tell officials of their working conditions because they fear losing their jobs. However, Alida Hernandez, a former IBM employee interviewed in the Fisher article has talked about her breast cancer. She has no family history of breast cancer and “[a]t the time of her departure, two of her immediate colleagues had fallen ill. One female engineer was on a leave of absence as a result of breast cancer, and the employee who had trained Hernandez on disk-coating operations came down with skin cancer. Another colleague suffered a miscarriage.” The article contains many others with stories similar to Hernandez’. Damages to surrounding area (1):  Damages to surrounding area (1) Workers are not the only ones who suffer from the chip fabrication industry. The environment surrounding the silicon ship fabrication plants and those who depend on that environment have suffered in the past as explained in the following slide Damage to surrounding area (2):  Damage to surrounding area (2) “Built just three years after the disk drive was invented at IBM ARC in 1956, the Cottle Road plant was the first among dozens of manufacturing facilities -- including those operated by Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Applied Materials and National Semiconductor -- discovered in the early 1980s to have collectively leaked tens of thousands of gallons of organic solvents and other toxic contaminants into the groundwater of Silicon Valley. Today, the valley is home to more EPA Superfund sites (29) than any other county in the nation, with the most notorious of those sites -- from a leaking tank at a Fairchild Semiconductor fabrication plant -- poisoning a well that served the south San Jose neighborhood of Los Paseos. A subsequent study by the state's Department of Health Services found 2.5 to three times the expected rate of miscarriages and birth defects among pregnant women exposed to the contaminated drinking water, leading to a lawsuit and multimillion-dollar settlement in 1986 with over 250 claimants” (Fisher, 2001). Other damages?:  Other damages? The chip fabrication industry has apparently been damaging surrounding areas far less in recent years, however I was unable to find information regarding what happens to wastes that are still produced. This lack of information may be due to the industry disposing their wastes in ways that have not yet been exposed and does not necessarily imply that they dispose them in ways that do not damage people and the environment. The wastes still have to go somewhere. PRODUCTS that use silicon chips:  PRODUCTS that use silicon chips In this section you will study environmental, human health, and social impacts associated with products that use silicon chips What products contain silicon chips Implications of products that contain use silicon chips Products that contain silicon chips (1):  Products that contain silicon chips (1) Made smaller through silicon chip use: Radios Televisions Computers Video games Cameras Electronic medical equipment Every day devices made more technologically sophisticated through silicon chip use: Washing machines Microwaves Dishwashers Ovens Cars Products that contain silicon chips (2):  Products that contain silicon chips (2) Made possible through silicon chip use: Quartz watches Cell phones Bar code scanners Portable calculators Fax machines Copy machines Pacemakers Hearing aids Implications of product use (1):  Implications of product use (1) We could argue that societies that use radios, televisions, computers, video games, and cell phones have become more socially isolated. Whereas children used to play games with each other, they now stay at home in their houses to watch television or play games on the computer or video game machine. Adults who may have once gone to bars and cafés to socialize may now do it in online chat rooms. When someone is talking on a cell phone in a public place, she is not as present with the people around her. Social isolation can lead to people feeling less connected to their communities, having retarded social skills, and feeling lonely among other problems. On the other hand, we could argue that the Internet has been an incredible tool, made possible by silicon chips, that has provided for the exchange of important information. We might also argue that cell phones have saved us time because we can make phone calls while we are driving. Implications of product use (2):  Implications of product use (2) Some could argue that cars have led to a rise in energy consumption, but others would argue that they drive less because they shop on the Internet now. I doubt that many people would argue that the use of pacemakers and other electronic medical equipment has had a negative impact, unless they felt that people living longer was undesirable. Portable calculators, fax machines, copy machines, and technologically advanced microwaves, washing machines, and cars have generally made life easier and more efficient for us, although these machines may have replaced some jobs. As you can see, the impacts on humans, communities, and the environment when people use these products are ambiguous. Overall, these machines make life easier for their users, but possibly at the loss of social interaction, jobs, adventure, relaxation, and other valued activities. TRANSPORTAION:  TRANSPORTAION In this section you will study environmental, human health, and social impacts associated with the transportation systems used during the cradle to grave lifecycle of silica and silicon chips. Please go to the next slide Transportation:  Transportation A crucial element of cradle to grave analysis of silica and silicon chips Necessary to: Move silica from the mine and smelter to silicon chip manufacturing plants Move the chips from the mine and smelter to silicon chip manufacturing plants Move the chips to the factory where the electronics are manufactured Move those electronics from the manufacturing plant to the distribution centers and stores Move the electronics from the distribution centers and stores to the locations where they are used Move the no longer useful electronics from the locations where they are used to the recycling center or landfill Move the no longer useful electronics from the recycling center to a disposal operation usually in Asia Transportation: general:  Transportation: general Most transportation is fueled by petroleum products, which present a whole host of problems ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to extracting the limited natural resource to construction and disposal of the transportation vessels the petroleum produducts are used in. Transportation:silica/silicon chips:  Transportation:silica/silicon chips Transportation is a huge contributor to the destructive nature of the silicon chip and electronics industries that cannot be left out when analyzing silica and silicon chips from cradle to grave, but the exact problems it creates are not within the scope of this paper Without going into too much detail about the human, community, and environmental impact of the world’s transportation network, I do wish to mention three important points regarding transportation as it relates to silica and silicon chips. 1-Distance:  1-Distance Silica and silicon chips travel long distances. In many cases, due to low transportation costs, the locations where silica is extracted, where silicon chips are made, where electronics are made, where the electronics are used, and where the electronics are disposed of are in different parts of the world This map shows the path a typical silicon chip may take 2-Lack of pollution controls:  2-Lack of pollution controls Developing nations do not have as strict of pollution controls as the United States and other first world nations, meaning that tailpipe emissions are other wastes vehicles create are much higher. 3-Transportation infrastructure:  3-Transportation infrastructure Many mining, fabrication, and disposal sites are created in areas that do not have sufficient transportation infrastructure at the time these sites are created. Road building, probably the most common destructive activity related to the construction of transportation infrastructure, destroys habitat and is, in and of itself, polluting. DISPOSAL of products containing silicon chips:  DISPOSAL of products containing silicon chips In this section you will study environmental, human health, and social impacts associated with disposing of products that use silicon chips Disposal of products containing chips (E-waste) Disposal of silicon chips What E-waste has done Solutions not adopted by all Disposal of products containing silicon chips:  Disposal of products containing silicon chips As I stated earlier in the paper, the silicon chips themselves are not highly polluting or damaging to human health and it is the processes of creating the chips that are. However, when the electronic products made possible by silicon chips are disposed of after they are no longer useful, they once again have an extremely negative impact on humans, communities, and the environment. Most products that contain silicon chips are categorized as E-waste when they are no longer useful. E-Waste (1):  E-Waste (1) “In 1998, it was estimated that 20 million computers became obsolete in the United States, and the overall E-waste volume was estimated at 5 to 7 million tons” (Puckett et al., 2002). Computers and other electronics are replaced not when they are broken, but when they have become undesireable due to improvements in technology. E-Waste (2):  E-Waste (2) Many of the old electronics are stored, some are refurbished, re-used, or recycled domestically, some end up in landfills and incinerators, the cleanest of which are very polluting, and some are sent to prisons to be dismantled. It is now becoming more and more difficult for consumers to dispose of electronics in these ways causing many consumers to turn to recycling, thinking that it is the environmentally and socially responsible thing to do. However, there are few recyclers who actually make use of used electronics E-Waste (3):  E-Waste (3) The “solution” in the United States and Canada has become exporting the no longer useful electronics to Asia. Problems exporting E-waste:  Problems exporting E-waste E-waste is exported because low wages in developing countries make them the only places where it has a positive value It is damaging to humans, communities, and the environment because environmental and occupational regulations are lax or not well enforced Silicon chip disposal (1):  Silicon chip disposal (1) Chips that still have value are resold All other chips are processed in acid to remove precious metals The following description of the process is from Exporting harm: The high-tech trashing of Asia, Prepared by The Basel Action Newtork and the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (Puckett et al., 2002) The authors have extensively studied the Guiyu area of China Silicon chip disposal (2):  Silicon chip disposal (2) Many hundreds of workers, usually women and girls[…]place the circuit boards on shallow wok-like grills that are heated underneath by a can filled with ignited coal. In the wok-grill is a pool of molten lead-tin solder [a metal or metallic alloy, especially of lead and tin, that joins metallic surfaces (Merriam-Webster, 2002)]. The circuit boards are placed in the pooled solder and heated until the chips are removable. These are then plucked out with pliers and placed quickly in buckets. Silicon chip disposal (3):  Silicon chip disposal (3) Solder is also collected by slapping the boards hard against something such as a rock where the solder collects and is later melted off and sold. While fans are sometimes used to blow the toxic lead-tin solder fumes away, the exposure on a daily basis is likely to be very damaging. Silicon chip disposal (4):  Silicon chip disposal (4) After most of the board is picked over, it then goes to large scale burning or acid recovery operations outside of town along the river where the last remaining metals are recovered. Whole riverbanks were seen full of charred circuit boards reduced to blackened fiber-glass. This final burning process is bound to emit substantial quantities of harmful heavy metals, dioxins, beryllium, and PAH’s. Silicon chips disposal (5):  Silicon chips disposal (5) Much of the work to remove chips from circuit boards is done for the ultimate purpose of removing precious metals. This is most often done by a very primitive process using acid baths. Although we could not test the actual chemicals, after consulting with metallurgical experts, we are confident that the baths were in fact aqua regia (a mixture of 25% pure nitric acid and 75% pure hydrochloric acid). This mixture and process was invariably applied directly on the banks of rivers and waterways. Silicon chip disposal (6):  Silicon chip disposal (6) The aqua regia was first heated over small fires and then poured into plastic tubs full of computer chips. These in turn were routinely swirled and agitated to dissolve the tiny amounts of gold found inside. After many hours of this, a chemical is then added which precipitates the gold, making it settle to the bottom of the tub. This is recovered as a mud, dried, and then finally melted to a tiny bead of pure, shiny gold. Silicon chip disposal (7):  Silicon chip disposal (7) After most of the board is picked over, it then goes to large scale burning or acid recovery operations outside of town along the river where the last remaining metals are recovered. Whole riverbanks were seen full of charred circuit boards reduced to blackened fiber-glass. This final burning process is bound to emit substantial quantities of harmful heavy metals, dioxins, beryllium, and PAH’s. Silicon chip disposal (8):  Silicon chip disposal (8) The men worked at this process day and night protected only by rubber boots and gloves. They had nothing to protect them from inhaling and enduring the acid and often toxic fumes. The aqua regia process is known to emit toxic chlorine and sulphur dioxide gasses. What E-waste has done:  What E-waste has done A water sample taken from the river, where wastes from acid stripping and other processes are dumped, “revealed lead levels 2,400 times higher than the World Health Organization Drinking Water Guidelines” (Puckett et al., 2002). The villages in China, India, and Pakistan studied by the Puckett report have chosen poison instead of poverty. They “have made a mess of [their] good faming village[s]. After they have dismantled the computers, they burn the useless parts. Every day villagers inhale this dirty air; their bodies have become weak. Many people have developed respiratory and skin problems. Some people wash vegetables and dishes with the polluted water, and they get stomach sickness.” The human health and environmental problems that can arise are too numerous to list in this report, but it is safe to assume that they are overwhelming as the materials they are handling are highly hazardous and developing countries lack the appropriate technology to handle them safely. Solutions not adopted by all:  Solutions not adopted by all Unlike Canada and the United States, most countries in the European Union have adopted policies that allow them to greatly reduce the amount of E-waste they create and stop exporting the E-waste in a way manner that is harmful to humans, communities and the environment Precautionary Principle: a project or process cannot occur unless it can be proven that it will not harm people and in some cases the environment Extended Producer Responsibility: producers are responsible for the products they create by requiring them to take the products back when they are no longer useful therefore encouraging producers to design their products for longevity, upgradability, and reuse Basel Ban: calls for a minimization of transboundary movement of hazardous waste CONCLUSION:  CONCLUSION The way in which silica is used is typical of the way many natural resources are used today: The first world nations extract natural resources from developing nations, reap the benefits of the products developed from those natural resources, and then send the no longer useful products back to the developing nations who then have to deal with the waste problem. Also, corporations exploit minority and poorer people living in first world nations by giving them no other choice but to work under deplorable conditions. Governments of first world nations and international bodies, such as the World Trade Organization and the World Bank back the corporations who profit from creating these products and all others who gain something from using these products, while they allow conditions to deteriorate for those living in developing nations. continued Conclusion:  Conclusion Generally, those who are white and have more wealth benefit from this arrangement, while those who are not white and have less wealth suffer from this arrangement. Unfortunately those with power are those who benefit and are not willing to work to change the system. Partly how they remain in power is through deceit by not providing information that would be detrimental to their position. I hope that this paper serves to empower those who are exploited and those who wish to help the exploited people of the world by giving them a better understanding of the process one natural resource goes through from its cradle to its grave. BIBLIOGRAPHY:  BIBLIOGRAPHY CLICK ONE: Works cited and where to go for more information Introduction Extraction Production Products Transportation (none available) Disposal Photo sources Navigation bar Introduction Extraction Production Products Transportation Disposal Introduction information and works cited:  Introduction information and works cited Chorlton, W. (2002). The invention of the silicon chip: a revolution in daily life. Chicago: Heinemann Library Williams, E., Ayres, R., Heller, M. (2002). The 17 kg microchip: energy & materials use in the production. Environmental science and technology, 36(24), 5504-5510. Extraction information and works cited:  Extraction information and works cited Brandt, E. (2001, July 12). Omaruru smelter project raises residents’ concerns. The Namibian. Retrieved March 8, 2003, from Graig, A. (2001, July 20) How safe is quartz mining? Namibian Economist. Retrieved March 8, 2003, from Graig, A. (2001, July 6). Surface owners agreements last hurdle for Omaruru silicon mine. Namibian Economist. Retrieved March 4, 2003, from Mahoney, D.P. (1999). Control of health hazards from crystalline silica. Professional Safety, 44(5), 31-33. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (2002). Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved summer 2003, from (no further silicon info.) Tasmania Public Land Use Commission. (1996). Tasmania Social and economic report: mining. In Tasmania regional forest agreements (Industry Development > Regional Forest Agreements > Publications > Reports > Social and Economic > Tasmania Social and Economic Report > Chapter 5 Minerals > Mining). Retrieved August 13, 2003, from Production information and works cited:  Production information and works cited Archer, E.R.M., & Turner II, B.L. (1997). Introduction to the Human Dimensions of Global Change. Retrieved July 30, 2003, from (no further silicon info.) Dirty secrets of the chipmaking industry. (1998). USA Today. Retrieved March 20, 2003, from Energy Information Adminstration. (2003). Electricity Quick Stats. Retrieved July 30, 2003, from (no further silicon info.) Fisher, J. (2001, July 30). Poison valley. SALON Magazine. Retrieved December 9, 2002, from Parthasarathy, A. (2002, August 31). Give silicon another 15 years: Intel chief. The Hindu. Retrieved August 13, 2003, from Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. (1997, February 10). The environmental cost of computer chips. Retrieved December 6, 2002, from Williams, E., Ayres, R., Heller, M. (2002). The 17 kg microchip: energy & materials use in the production. Environmental science and technology, 36(24), 5504-5510. Products information:  Products information Chorlton, W. (2002). The invention of the silicon chip: a revolution in daily life. Chicago: Heinemann Library. Disposal information and works cited:  Disposal information and works cited Puckett, J., Byster, L., Westervelt, S., Gutierrez, R., Davis, S., Hussain, A., et al. (2002). Exporting harm: The high-tech trashing of Asia. Seattle: The Basel Action Network, & San Jose, CA: Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Navigation bar photos:  Navigation bar photos Extraction Rotary Club of Seto North. ourcityseto.html Production Sandia National Laboratories.\ Products Circuit City. Disposal Puckett, J., Byster, L., Westervelt, S., Gutierrez, R., Davis, S., Hussain, A., et al. (2002). Exporting harm: The high-tech trashing of Asia. Seattle: The Basel Action Network, & San Jose, CA: Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Transportation U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Introduction photos:  Introduction photos Opening page First Science. articles/bradley.asp What are silicon chips? The Tech Report. 2002q3/ti4600s/index.x?pg=1 What have they done? -Chorlton, W. (2002). The invention of the silicon chip: a revolution in daily life. Chicago: Heinemann Library -Circuit City. What is silicon? A Spiritual Platform. crystals/crystalsq.html Extraction photos:  Extraction photos EXTRACTION: Mining of silica First Science. articles/bradley.asp Impacts to mine site Mining Technology. Case study: Omaruru, Namibia Water contamination School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Kingston University. Importance of water (1) Wrexham County Borough Council's Web site Importance of water (2) Department of Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo. Production photos (1):  Production photos (1) PRODUCTION of silicon chips The Tech Report. 2002q3/ti4600s/index.x?pg=1 Significance of Inputs -Equitorial Oil. -Emergency Planning for Chemical Spills. Inputs Required (2) Emergency Planning for Chemical Spills. Wastes Produced Asheville Global Report. 162/environment.html Pollutants released into air Eco IQ Magazine opinion/opinion31.html …CONTINUED… Production photos (2):  Production photos (2) Working conditions -Infocus. facil.html -Sandia National Laboratories. Accidents are common Consumer and Employment Protection, Western Australia. Results of working conditions (1) -National Breast Cancer Foundation. signs_and_symptoms/ -Venik’s Aviaion. du-watch/iraq_images/ -Whatsbetter?com. Products photos:  Products photos PRODUCTS that use silicon chips (1) -Circuit City. -Sears. Products that use silicon chips (2) -Hampshire Direct Hearing Services. styles.htm -Circuit City. Transportation photos:  Transportation photos Transportation: general photo by Zack Kahn 1-Distance The Peters Projection, An Accurate Area Map. 2-Lack of pollution controls -U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. -United Nations Chronicle. 3-Transportation infrastructure Stop Fortis. BulldozersPhotos2_14_02.html Disposal photos:  Disposal photos All photos in the disposal section come from: Puckett, J., Byster, L., Westervelt, S., Gutierrez, R., Davis, S., Hussain, A., et al. (2002). Exporting harm: The high-tech trashing of Asia. Seattle: The Basel Action Network, & San Jose, CA: Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.

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