Feeds

Chip trade body funds fab cancer link probe

Better late than never

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has finally commissioned the investigation into the potential health hazards of working in chip fabrication plants that it pledged to sponsor a year ago.

The announcement comes five months after the study was originally expected to start.

The Ingram Cancer Center - part of Vanderbilt University, based in Nashville, Tennessee - will undertake the research programme, the US chip trade body said today. The results are not expected to be made public until 2009.

Between now and then, the Center will probe the medical histories of around 85,000 individuals who have worked in wafer fabs during the past 30 years. It will be looking to see if there is any greater incidence of cancer in those people than in the population as a whole.

The announcement that the SIA would fund such a study was made in August 2004, a year in which IBM won cases brought against it by the families of deceased factory workers. The families claimed the cancers that killed their relatives had been contracted after the workers came into contact with hazardous materials in the fabs. They alleged IBM knew about the risks but did nothing to warn its employees.

IBM also settled a number of such cases out of court.

Five years earlier, in 1999, the SIA set up an independent committee of experts to assess the risk. Some 18 months later, the panel concluded there was no evidence to suggest unequivocally an increased risk of cancer among fab workers. However, it also admitted it didn't have sufficient data to investigate fully potential links between levels of exposure to chemicals used in fabs and cancer risk.

The new study will seek to answer that very question. The SIA undoubtedly hopes the Ingram Cancer Center's findings will show no correlation between cancer contraction rates and fab employment. If the reverse is true, it could pave the way for further litigation by families who have lost to cancer loved ones who formerly worked in US chip fabs. ®

Related stories

Power lines linked to childhood leukaemia
Chip biz to fund independent cancer study
IBM denies spiking fab cancer study
IBM settles 'poisoned' workers' cancer claims
IBM not guilty of knowingly poisoning workers

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.