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Is the Booming Tech Industry Harming Children of the Pacific Northwest?

Concern over birth defects and semiconductor manufacturing grows

February 24, 2015 – Birth defects have been linked to toxic chemicals and solvents used in semiconductor, printed circuit board, and aircraft manufacturing. This is a growing concern as we learn more about the dangerous effects of these chemicals and as demand for high tech electronics rises. If you worked in these industries, your children may be entitled to legal damages.

With an increasing global appetite for smart phones and other electronics, the tech industry in Washington is booming. Semiconductor manufacturing operations and related businesses have been stepping up production in the state as well as in Oregon. Washington is also a leader in aircraft manufacturing, and believe it or not, Idaho’s top export is computer memory chips. Globally the semiconductor industry saw a spike in sales in 2014. Sales are projected to continue to grow through 2017 with North America expected to have the highest growth rate, according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS).

To fulfill this high demand, the tech sector and aircraft manufacturing industry have increased production. This means greater use of certain chemicals like benzene and solvents such as glycol ethers. However, many of these chemicals and solvents are known carcinogens and have been linked to reproductive problems and birth defects. Here is a list of 10 hazardous chemicals most commonly used in semiconductor manufacturing and the health problems that result from exposure. Chung Sik Yoon notes in his 2012 article published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science “Reproductive defects including spontaneous abortions are well-established health effects in the semiconductor industry.” He suggests that in order to prevent “reproductive toxicity...more research and sophisticated preventive controls should be implemented.”

If your child was born with skeletal, organ or limb deformities, blindness, cerebral palsy, genetic damage, or other problems, and you are a past or present semiconductor, printed circuit board or aircraft manufacturing worker, We can help. Contact us now at 1-866-98-6942.

Your children may be entitled to legal damages.

"An estimated 7.9 million children are born annually with a serious birth defect."

Christianson, A., et al. March of Dimes Global Report of Birth Defects: The Hidden Toll of Dying and Disabled Children (pdf). (2006) (accessed August 28, 2008).