Semiconductor manufacturers have reached a voluntary agreement with the U.S. EPA to reduce the use of chemicals that contribute to global warming. The industry cleans equipment and makes silicon wafers using perfluorocompounds, which are 10,000 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat and last in the atmosphere for 2,000 to 50,000 years. Under the agreement, members of the Semiconductor Industry Association, including Intel, will reduce their use of the chemicals 10 percent from 1995 levels by 2010. The EPA’s Sally Rand says the manufacturers are the only industry working globally to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

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