DMS dmschanoes at
Wed Aug 13 09:01:30 MDT 2003

In partial answer to Les and Paddy,

Most of the material I have on semiconductor fabrication
applies to the cost of production, productivity improvements
capital investment, i.e. the components overproduction.  This
comes as no surprise, I hope.

I have just finished a piece that includes a section on
overproduction of semiconductors and when I get home,
post it to the list.  I know the language of the article
is polemical, and I make connections to things, sometimes,
without going through every step in the process, and I want
to state here that the piece is not a mantra to anything,
a bible, or an attempt to get everyone to swear off on a
catechism.  I think the stakes are so high about this matter
of overproduction, fixed asset increases, and the resulting
decline in profits, that the response of the bourgeoisie cannot
be met, economically or politically by our previous "tools"
slogans, etc. (like self-determination of peoples/nations).

But that's for later.

Regarding the materials used in semiconductor fabrication:

Some highly toxic materials are used in the process include
as a basic substrate gallium arsenide (although I'm not sure
what portion of production uses this product).

In 1998, the US EPA commissioned studies about the recovery of
GaAs as it's known.  That reported stated that about 50% was being recovered at the fabrication source, but 50% wasn't and
since GaAs was not classified as a HazMat, disposal usually
involved loading the effluent into 55 gallon drums and burying
the drums in a landfill.  With all due respect, sounds like
New Jersey to me, where I used to work and watched several
thousand 55 gal drums of toxic chemicals cook off in a fire
some 20 odd years ago.

The problem for the EPA is that GaAs can break down into Arsine
gas, which is lethal at 250 PPM, which means, approximately, that if you can smell it you're dead.

Have not kept up on the environmental information since then
but I don't think the recent past or the near future are so
bright that we need to wear sunglasses when examining waste
products of semiconductor fabrication.

I do agree that these problems can be solved, abated, etc.
I do agree that capital will not solve them, but will reproduce
and export this degradation of the environment to areas with
less regulation both within and without the US.

We already know how the chemical plants in Louisiana directed
their toxins to the poor black areas near the facilities.


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