Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.189, No.1-2, 315-322, 2011
Environmental and risk screening for prioritizing pollution prevention opportunities in the US printed wiring board manufacturing industry
Modern manufacturing of printed wiring boards (PWBs) involves extensive use of various hazardous chemicals in different manufacturing steps such as board preparation, circuit design transfer, etching and plating processes. Two complementary environmental screening methods developed by the U.S. EPA, namely: (i) the Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) and (ii) Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI), are used to quantify geographic and chemical environmental impacts in the U.S. PWB manufacturing industry based on Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. Although the release weight percentages of industrial chemicals such as methanol, glycol ethers and dimethylformamide comprise the larger fraction of reported air and water emissions, results indicate that lead, copper and their compounds' releases correspond to the highest environmental impact from toxicity potentials and risk-screening scores. Combining these results with further knowledge of PWB manufacturing, select alternative chemical processes and materials for pollution prevention are discussed. Examples of effective pollution prevention options in the PWB industry include spent etchant recovery technologies, and process and material substitutions. In addition, geographic assessment of environmental burden highlights states where promotion of pollution prevention strategies and emissions regulations can have the greatest effect to curb the PWB industry's toxic release impacts. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Printed wiring boards;Pollution prevention;Environmental impact assessment;Toxics Release Inventory;Risk screening