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Open AccessArticle

Extremely Low Frequency-Magnetic Field (ELF-MF) Exposure Characteristics among Semiconductor Workers

1
Department of Occupational Health, Daegu Catholic University, Gyeongsan 38430, Korea
2
Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Seoul 03087, Korea
3
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Institute of Health and Environment, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
4
Department of Public Health, Keimyung University, Daegu 42601, Korea
5
Wonjin Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Seoul 02221, Korea
6
Department of Statistics, Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, Korea
7
Department of Biochemistry and Health Science, Changwon National University, Changwon 51140, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040642
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 31 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
We assessed the exposure of semiconductor workers to extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and identified job characteristics affecting ELF-MF exposure. These were demonstrated by assessing the exposure of 117 workers involved in wafer fabrication (fab) and chip packaging wearing personal dosimeters for a full shift. A portable device was used to monitor ELF-MF in high temporal resolution. All measurements were categorized by operation, job and working activity during working time. ELF-MF exposure of workers were classified based on the quartiles of ELF-MF distribution. The average levels of ELF-MF exposure were 0.56 µT for fab workers, 0.59 µT for chip packaging workers and 0.89 µT for electrical engineers, respectively. Exposure to ELF-MF differed among types of factory, operation, job and activity. Workers engaged in the diffusion and chip testing activities showed the highest ELF-MF exposure. The ELF-MF exposures of process operators were found to be higher than those of maintenance engineers, although peak exposure and/or patterns varied. The groups with the highest quartile ELF-MF exposure level are operators in diffusion, ion implantation, module and testing operations, and maintenance engineers in diffusion, module and testing operations. In conclusion, ELF-MF exposure among workers can be substantially affected by the type of operation and job, and the activity or location. View Full-Text
Keywords: extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF); fabrication (fab) and chip packaging assembly; semiconductors extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF); fabrication (fab) and chip packaging assembly; semiconductors
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Choi, S.; Cha, W.; Park, J.; Kim, S.; Kim, W.; Yoon, C.; Park, J.-H.; Ha, K.; Park, D. Extremely Low Frequency-Magnetic Field (ELF-MF) Exposure Characteristics among Semiconductor Workers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 642.

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