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Industrial Hygiene Walk-Through Survey Report of Spectrolab, Inc., Sylmar, California, Report No. IWS-068-12.
NIOSH 1977 Apr:16 pages
As part of an investigation into possible hazardous working conditions existing during the production of photovoltaic cells and panels, a study was made of the Spectrolab, Inc., Sylmar, California where silicon (7440213) ingots were produced for the cells and panels used for space applications. The total number of employees was about 230 to 250 with about 180 being directly involved in the production of silicon ingots. The raw materials used included high purity silicon and some boron doped silicon in a solid form. Ingots were sliced with an abrasive slurry. Slices were then cleaned using a variety of solvents and placed in hydrofluoric-acid/nitric-acid baths for etching. Phosphine was used in tube furnaces to diffuse phosphorus onto the surface of the slice. Cleaned slices were placed in a chamber where silver was coated on one side and a silver metal grid was applied to the other side. After application of an antireflection coating, metal contacts were fired onto the cells in a hydrogen furnace. The facility had a physician, and there was an employee on each shift with formal first air training. Medical examinations were required of all incoming employees. No periodic physical examinations were required. Chest x-ray, blood tests, and urine tests were provided and there was a formal safety program in place. Full face respirators were provided in the diffusion room along with gloves and face shields; emergency shower facilities were available.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; IWS-068-12; Region-9; Silica-dusts; Aerospace-industry; Industrial-hygiene;
NTIS Accession No.
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. IWS-068-12, 16 pages
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division