PFCs are used in two production processes: plasma etching thin films and cleaning chemical vapour deposition tool chambers.

Use of these chemicals is critical to current semiconductor manufacturing methods and reducing emissions is a formidable technical challenge. PFCs are the most potent and persistent of all greenhouse gases. These chemicals have on average 10,000 times the global warming potential (GWP) of carbon dioxide over 100 years, and have atmospheric lifetimes ranging from 2,000 to 50,000 years.

WSC members produce over 90 percent of semiconductors and had over $125 billion in world sales in 1998.

The WSC, which was formed in 1996 to address market access issues, and promote industry co-operation on economic, trade and environmental issues facing the global semiconductor industry, includes the Semiconductor Industry.

Association (SIA) of the United States, the European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA), the Electronic Industries Association of Japan (EIAJ), the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA), and the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA).

The US EPA and the Japan Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) supported and encourage the WSC agreement.

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