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Intel, IBM, and Nvidia fights bans on “forever chemicals”

by on24 March 2023

So much for being green

While companies are banging on about how green and circular they are, Intel, IBM, and Nvidia have joined together with industrial materials businesses to fight US clampdowns on “forever chemicals.”

Forever chemicals are slow to break down in the environment and often kill life and there is pressure on various governments to reduce their production (and work out ways to remove them).

However, not Intel, IBM, and Nvidia which have broadened their opposition to new rules and bans of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances [PFAS]. The substances have been found in the blood of 97 percent of Americans, according to the US government.

More than 30 US states this year are considering legislation to address PFAS, according to Safer States, an environmental advocacy group. Bills in California and Maine have already passed.

The Semiconductor Industry Association—whose members include Intel, IBM, and Nvidia—has cosigned letters opposing the Minnesota legislation, arguing its measures are overly broad and could prohibit thousands of products, including electronics. Chipmakers also opposed the California and Maine laws.

Their argument is that if they are forced to avoid forever chemicals then semiconductor supplies will be disrupted.

Since long-term PFAS exposure can weaken the immune system, decrease infant and fetal growth, and increase kidney cancer risk in adults, the fact that a person might not be able to buy the latest chip seems a bit of short term thinking.

In fact, the chipmakers think they can make equipment without such chemicals they will just be slightly more expensive.


Last modified on 24 March 2023
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