Texas Instruments

2012 Corporate Citizenship Report


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Semiconductors

Chemical selection and screening | Restricted chemicals | Chemical handling | Europe and China’s banned substances | Lead | Halogens, antimony and red phosphorous

Chemical selection and screening

We screen all incoming chemicals before incorporating them into our semiconductor manufacturing processes. Screening includes a review of customer concerns and regulatory standards, in addition to any environmental, safety and health (ESH) controls required for their use. We incorporate restrictions and standards related to chemicals in our contracts with suppliers.

If concerns about a chemical or other material arise during review, the matter is elevated to a chemical and material review board staffed by company experts. If a chemical or material is thought to be necessary for manufacturing but still raises concerns, our manufacturing leaders review the issue; where appropriate, they authorize additional time and resources to seek a safer alternative, or implement more stringent use controls.

Nanomaterials
We work within the industry to assess new substances. For example, we are actively involved with research consortia to evaluate the use of nanomaterials for specific functions. Currently, we only embed nanoscale features and structures within select semiconductors.

Nanomaterials are not yet regulated, although standards bodies are gathering information to identify potential ESH impacts. We are working with industry partners to study these materials further to ensure that our management systems provide appropriate controls and protections, should they be needed.

Restricted chemicals

Producing world-class semiconductors involves the use of hazardous and nonhazardous chemicals and gases, which is why TI has stringent controls in place to manage them. We also periodically assess the potential environmental, safety and health impact of these materials as new scientific information becomes available and regulations are adopted.

We are committed to identifying and using the safest and lowest-risk materials in its operations whenever possible. At a minimum, we focus on compliance with all applicable conventions, protocols, laws and regulations for chemical use. For example, we:

In addition, we do not manufacture products that contain radioactive substances, and we select the lowest-risk chemicals for use whenever possible. We continue to eliminate the use of perfluorooctanoic acid in manufacturing as well (Click here for a complete list of chemicals TI restricts.)

Chemical handling

After we approve chemicals for use, we carefully manage their transport, distribution, use and disposal. The basic goal of our chemical-safety program is to minimize human contact with all chemicals. We accomplish this in six ways:
  1. Availability of information. We work closely with our chemical supply chain to ensure that employees and contractors have up-to-date usage and handling information.
  2. Engineering controls and personal protective equipment. We provide engineering controls such as safety interlocks and ventilation to minimize employee exposure to chemicals. Employees who work with or near hazardous chemicals or gases in areas without built-in engineering controls are required to wear personal protective equipment and understand how to properly use it.
  3. Chemical dock operations. We tightly control and protect chemical deliveries and storage by asking chemical professionals to handle all chemicals at one central location per site. An internal numbering system controls internal delivery and safety procedures.
  4. Just-in-time purchasing. Our inventory controls reduce potential chemical storage risks while maintaining an appropriate supply.
  5. Closed chemical delivery system. Chemicals are automatically fed to work locations through a series of carefully constructed distribution systems with appropriate leak detection, ventilation and abatement controls. We use double-walled piping and additional containment systems where needed.
  6. Used chemical management. We minimize any amount of discharged chemicals through several protective measures, including wastewater treatment, wet scrubbers, thermal oxidizers and absorbers. Where on-site treatment is not available, licensed disposal contractors recycle and reuse valuable materials or dispose of waste appropriately.

Europe and China’s banned substances

Both the European Union (EU) and China have issued stringent standards for product content and have banned some chemicals altogether. For example, the EU's Restriction on Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) regulation has been in effect since 2006. It was recently updated (RoHS2) in an effort to resolve uncertainties and increase market surveillance and enforcement.

RoHS2 restricts new electrical and electronic equipment containing lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl and polybrominated diphenyl ether flame-retardants above specified thresholds from entering the EU. We have reviewed RoHS2's new equipment categories to ensure compliance and meet customer information needs. About 95 percent of our worldwide net product sales are shipped in accordance with all EU RoHS legislation.

To comply with the EU's Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), TI and other manufacturers must gather (and under some circumstances) file information about the properties of chemical substances used in Europe. We also provide information to customers about the status of REACH-listed substances in our products.

China published its own set of production requirements: the China Management Methods for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products (China RoHS). Although our components are not required to meet China RoHS labeling requirements (which apply primarily to end-equipment manufacturers), we changed our shipping labels and provided additional information to our customers so they can more easily meet their compliance needs.

Lead

Long before legislation required such measures, TI led the industry in developing lead (Pb)-free alternatives for products. We introduced our first Pb-free alternative, a nickel-palladium finish, in 1989. We completed most component conversions well ahead of the EU RoHS deadline. For products not identified for conversion, we work with customers to find suitable RoHS2-compliant or other green solutions.

Although most of our customers have shifted to using Pb-free products, we continue to manufacture a few products that contain lead for those who require it.

Upon request, we can often provide certification and analytical data from our suppliers to support their verification of the material content in our products.

Halogens, antimony and red phosphorous

One of the current challenges facing TI and the electronic industry as a whole is how to reduce or eliminate brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs). Although the small amounts of BFRs and CFRs contained in the products pose no risk as sold, improper and unsafe recycling practices could be cause for concern.

Currently, there is no legislation restricting their use, yet many electronic product distributors are under increasing pressure from advocacy groups to eliminate this potential risk.

BFRs and CFRs have traditionally been integral to semiconductor packaging materials. At TI, these materials were mostly removed from products that were converted to Pb-free- and RoHS-compliant processing temperatures before they became an industry concern. Products defined by TI as green meet the Joint Electronic Devices Engineering Council's (JEDEC) JP709 Low Halogen Guidelines.

We define green to mean Pb-free; RoHS-compliant; and free of chlorine, bromine and antimony trioxide-based flame retardants. Our "Halogens, Chlorine and Bromine: Concentration in TI's 'Green' Devices" document explains the thresholds for BFRs and CFRs.

Our Pb-free and RoHS-compliant devices also meet globally defined restrictions as defined in documents such as the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List when applied to electronic components; the Joint Industry Guide JIG-101; and the new International Electrotechnical Commission 62474 database, which will replace the JIG-101 in late 2013. Our products listed as green go beyond these types of regulatory requirements and include compliance to low-halogen efforts. Other compliance documents can be found on our Eco-Info website.

We completed the majority of our conversion to green compounds in 2005. Today, more than 90 percent of the semiconductor products we ship are considered green (and meet low-halogen industry requirements).