Chemical Caution

Miscarriages are linked to two solvents used on microchips

THE HOPE AT IBM WAS THAT the company would put to rest some charges, long voiced by occupational-safety groups, that work in a semiconductor plant is dangerous. But preliminary results of a study by Johns Hopkins researchers, commissioned by the computer giant, show that women exposed to two chemicals employed in making silicon chips have a much higher risk of suffering miscarriages. Among 30 women who handled chemicals at IBM plants in New York and Vermont from 1980 to 1989, the miscarriage rate was 33%, more than double that of women who had no contact with the chemicals diethylene glycol dimethyl...

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