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Four Materials Illustrate Hazards Of Electronics Manufacturing

Aug 17, 2017   |   WisContext

Foxconn Factory Could Bring Array of Risks to Workers and Environment

"Operating an LCD screen manufacturing plant in Wisconsin would raise a number of environmental question marks," reports WisContex. "Any sophisticated, modern electronic device, including the products Taiwanese company Foxconn proposes to make at a new factory in the state, will contain a complex array of metals, gasses and other chemicals. ...

"...'Manufacturing all kinds of electronics is extremely chemical intensive,' said Benoit Cushman-Roisin, a professor of engineering sciences at Dartmouth. 'Typically the manufacturing process involves using many more times in weight in chemicals than end up in the body of what's being manufactured. You have to edge, you have to solder, there are fumes [and] you have to rinse many times ... It tends to be that the worst chemical and environmental impacts are at the base level where the basic components of electronics are being manufactured. There's usually a lot less environmental impact in final assembly and packaging, as a general rule.' ...

"...Some observers interviewed about the electronics industry have a wary perspective — Cushman-Roisin called it 'probably the dirtiest industry that we have in the world right now'."

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