United States
            Environmental Protection
            Agency
            Office of Pollution   EPA 745-K-94-014
            Prevention and Toxics    May 1994
SEPA
EPA's 33/50  Program
Company Profile
   Printed Circuit Corporation
                              Printed on Recycled Paper

-------
                                      THE 33/50 PROGRAM
    This Company Profile is part of a series of reports being developed by EPA to highlight the accomplish-
,ments of companies participating in the 33/50 Program.  The 33/50 Program is an EPA voluntary pollution
reduction initiative that promotes reductions in direct environmental releases and offsite transfers of 17 high-
priority toxic chemicals. The program derives its name from its overall goals - an interim goal of a 33%
reduction by 1992 and an ultimate goal of a 50% reduction by 1995.  The program uses 1988 Toxics Release
Inventory (TRI) reporting as a baseline. In February,  1991, EPA began contacting the parent companies of
TRJ facilities that reported using 33/50 Program chemicals since 1988 to request their participation in the 33/50
Program. As of April, 1994, a total of 1,216
companies had elected to participate in the
Program, pledging to reduce emissions of the 17.
target chemicals by more than 355 million
pounds by 1995.  Companies  are encouraged to
set their own reduction targets, which may vary
from the Program's national 33% and 50%
reduction goals.  Company  commitments and
reduction pledges continue to  be received by
EPA on a daily basis.
17 PRIORITY CHEMICALS TARGETED
       BY THE 33/50 PROGRAM
              BENZENE
      CADMIUM & COMPOUNDS
      CARBON TETRACHLORIDE
           CHLOROFORM
     CHROMIUM & COMPOUNDS
              CYANIDES
       \DICHLOROMETHANE*
        LEAD & COMPOUNDS
      MERCURY & COMPOUNDS
       METHYL ETHYL KETONE
     METHYL ISOBUTYL KETONE
       NICKEL & COMPOUNDS
      TETRACHLOROETHYLENE
              TOLUENE
       1,1,1-TRICHLOROETHANE
       TRICHLOROETHYLENE
              XYLENES

    Also referred to as methylene chloride
    The 1992 TRJ data revealed that releases
 and transfers of 33/50 Program chemicals de-
 clined by 40% between 1988 and 1992, surpass-
 ing the Program's 1992 interim reduction goal
 by more than 100 million pounds.  This accom-
 plishment, together with evidence from analysis
 of facilities' projected releases and transfers of
 the 17 priority chemicals, reported to TRI under
 the Pollution Prevention Act, offers strong en-
 couragement that the 33/50 Program's ultimate
 goal of a 50% reduction by 1995 will be
 achieved.

    EPA is committed to recognizing compa-
 nies for their participation in the 33/50 Program
 and for the emissions reductions they achieve.  The Program issues periodic Progress Reports, in which
 participating companies are listed and highlighted. In addition, Company Profiles, such as this one, are being
 prepared to provide more detailed information about companies that have written to EPA describing significant
 emissions reduction initiatives. Information presented in these profiles is drawn primarily from the company's
 written 33/50 Program  communications and the annual TRI reports submitted by their facilities (including
 Pollution Prevention Act data reported to TRI in Section 8 of Form R).  All company communications to EPA
 regarding the 33/50 Program are available to the public upon request.

    EPA does not endorse the performance, worker safety, or environmental acceptability of any of the
 technical options discussed in this Profile. Mention of any product or procedure in this document is for
 informational purposes only, and does not constitute a recommendation of any such product or procedure,
 either express or implied, by EPA.
   For information on the 33/50 Program, contact the TSCA Hotline at (202) 554-1404 or contact 33/50
   Program staff directly by phone at (202) 260-6907 or by mail at Mail Code 7408, Office of Pollution
   Prevention and Toxics,  U.S. EPA, 401 M Street, SW,  Washington, D.C. 20460.
 33/50 Program Company Profile: Printed Circuit Corporation

-------
                         Printed  Circuit Corporation
    Printed Circuit Corporation completely elimi-
nated all use of 33/50 Program chemicals in its
operations by the end of 1993, far surpassing its
initial goal  of a 65% reduction in releases of its
33/50 Program chemicals by 1995.  The company
achieved  these  reductions by substituting these
chemicals with water-based cleaning processes.

      I. CORPORATE BACKGROUND

    Printed  Circuit   Corporation,  located  in
Woburn, Massachusetts,  is  a manufacturer of
printed circuit  boards. The company provides its
products to companies in the electronics, instru-
mentation,  telecommunication,  and automotive
industries.

    Printed circuit boards are manufactured  in a
complex, multi-step  process.   First,  holes are
drilled in a  copper-coated plastic substrate board.
Next, copper  is  deposited  on the  hole  walls
through an electroless chemical process. To apply
the circuit  board pattern onto  the  board, the
copper surface is coated with a photo-sensitive
polymer. The circuit pattern is then transposed
onto the polymer-coated board using high-intensity
ultraviolet (UV) light, then  developed, exposing
only the intended circuit pattern  for  the subse-
quent electroplating chemical process.  The poly-
mer then is stripped away and the board is subject-
ed to a chemical etching process, leaving only the
designed pattern.
Printed Circuit completely eliminated its
use of 33/50 Program chemicals by the
end of 1993.
    An electroplating process is  used  to deposit
nickel  and gold on the connector contacts of the
board, and  a fabrication  process  is  performed
which gives the board its final configuration. After
the circuit board is completed, various electrical
components are  attached to the board  by Printed
Circuit's customers.

    Since 1988, Printed Circuit has used two 33/50
Program chemicals in quantities reportable to TRI:
dichloromethane and 1,1,1-trichloroethane. Print-
ed Circuit used 1,1,1-trichloroethane as a develop-
ing agent to develop the circuit pattern onto the
          Releases of TRI Chemicals
        by Printed Circuit Corporation
               (1000 pounds)
                             1988    1992
  33/50 Chemicals
     Dichloromethane
     1,1,1-Trichloroethane

  33/50 Subtotal*

  Other TRI Chemicals

  Total*
509
 11

521

 67

588
  0
 62

 62

128

189
   Columns do not sum to totals due to rounding.
sections of polymer exposed to light, and to wash
away the areas of polymer not subjected  to light.
Dichloromethane was used to strip  away residual
polymer in the subsequent stage of the manufac-
turing process.  In addition, both chemicals were
used as final cleaners to remove contaminants from
completed circuit boards.

    In  1988, Printed Circuit  reported releases of
520,500 pounds of 33/50 Program chemicals.  All
of these releases were in the form of air emissions.
Table I, at the end of this profile, presents  the
company's 1988-1992 data for releases of all TRI
chemicals.  The table includes 1993  data obtained
from company progress reports.

    II. 33/50 PROGRAM GOALS AND
   POLLUTION REDUCTION ACTIVITIES

    Printed Circuit Corporation initially set a goal
of reducing total releases of 33/50 Program chemi-
cals by 35% and 65% by 1992 and 1995, respective-
ly, using 1988 levels as a  baseline.  The company
indicated that source reduction would account for
about 75% of the pledged  reductions. The remain-
ing 25% would be accomplished through a variety
of methods, including process changes,  recycling,
in-process recovery, and equipment  modifications.
The company later revised its goal  to a complete
elimination of releases of 33/50 Program chemicals
by the end of 1993.

    In order to meet its program  goals, Printed
Circuit adopted a two-step approach. First, the
 .7.1/50 Program Company Profile:  Printed Circuit Corporation

-------
       Two-step Process for Eliminating
           33/50 Program Chemicals
          1968
        Dichloromethane: 100% reduction in 1991
        1,1,1-Trlchloroethane: 100% reduction in 1993
company focused its efforts on eliminating all use
of dichloromethane in its operations. To accom-
plish this  goal, the company implemented a pro-
cess that uses a water-based cleaner to strip away
excess polymer from the etched circuit boards. In
addition, Printed Circuit switched all solvent clea-
ning operations to 1,1,1-trichloroethane.  These
changes eliminated all use of dichloromethane at
Printed Circuit by the end of 1991. As a result of
the process change, the company also was able to
minimize its use of methanol, a non-33/50 Program
TR1 chemical.
Printed Circuit focused first on elimi-
nating all use of dichloromethane, then
concentrated on eliminating 1,1,1-tri-
chloroethane from its operations.
    Although the switch to 1,1,1-trichloroethane
for all solvent cleaning operations caused releases
of the chemical to increase between 1990 and 1991,
Printed Circuit showed an  overall reduction in
releases of 33/50 Program chemicals between the
two years. The company believed that by focusing
its efforts on one chemical at a time, it would be
able to make more rapid progress toward reducing
emissions than if it were addressing several chemi-
cals simultaneously.

    To eliminate the use of  1,1,1-trichloroethane,
the company undertook an evaluation of potential
replacements.  Printed Circuit worked with  six
vendors  nationwide  over a two-year period to
identify replacements that would:

   be compatible with other chemicals and  mate-
    rials used in production;
   comply with environmental standards; and
   be economically feasible.
                                                                Printed Circuit's Progress
                                                               Toward Meeting 33/50 Goals
     600

   (A


   O 500
                                                        V)
                                                        
                                                           400
  o
  (5 300
  $
  IB
   200
i
o
o
in
     100
          1988   1989  1990   1991  1992  1993
          33/50 Goal: 100% reduction in releases and
          transfers of 33/50 chemicals by 1995
    As  a result of the study,  the  company has
replaced its  use  of  1,1,1-trichloroethane  as  a
developing  agent  with  a  water-based  sodium
carbonate solution.  In addition, Printed  Circuit
now uses a mild detergent with water for the final
cleaning of completed circuit boards, in place of
dichloromethane and  1,1,1-trichloroethane.
33/50 Program Company Profile: Printed Circuit Corporation

-------
     III. PROGRESS TOWARDS 33/50
           REDUCTION GOALS

    As a result of these efforts, Printed Circuit
Corporation reduced total releases of 33/50  Pro-
gram chemicals by 87% from 1988 to 1991 after
the elimination of dichloromethane.   Further-
more.the company completely eliminated releases
of all 33/50 Program chemicals by 1993  after the
elimination of 1,1,1-trichloroethane, far surpassing
its Program goals.
  IV.  SUMMARY OF PRINTED CIRCUIT
      CORPORATION'S EXPERIENCE

    Printed Circuit Corporation has had outstand-
ing  accomplishments in reducing releases  and
transfers of 33/50 Program chemicals. The compa-
ny completely eliminated all use of its two 33/50
Program chemicals -- dichloromethane and 1,1,1-
trichloroethane - exceeding its Program goals two
years ahead of schedule. These goals were accom-
plished using a  two-step approach, in which  the
company focused its  efforts on one chemical at a
time. This focused approach allowed a more rapid
reduction than might have been possible otherwise.
33/50 Program Company Profile:  Printed Circuit Corporation

-------
                                                  Table I
                                          Printed Circuit Corporation
                                 Releases and Transfers of TRI Chemicals, 1988-1992 (1)
                                      (All data from TRI unless otherwise noted)
Chemical
Dichloromethane



1,1,1 -Trichloroethnne





33/50 Program Chemicals





Non 33/50 Program Chemicals




All TRI Chemicals




Percent Change. 1988-1992(1)
33/50 Program Chemicals
Non-33/50 Program Chemicals
All TRI Chemicals
Year
1988
1989
1990
1991
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1988
J989
1990
1991
1992
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992




Transfers
Off-site
Total Air Transfers for Treatment/ Total Releases Percent
Emissions to POTW Disposal/Other and Transfers (2) Change
(pounds) (pounds) (pounds) (pounds) 1988-1992
509,300
266,300
96,000
0
11,200
10,650
11,925
68,500
61,530
0
520,500
276,950
107,925
68,500
61,530
0
66,300
59,200
40,780
32,400
69,690
586,800
336,150
148,705
100,900
131,220

-100%
5%
-78%
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
790
408
236
63
130
790
408
236
63
130

-
-84%
-84%
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
58,140
0
0
0
0
58,140

--
-
-
509,300
266,300
96,000
0 (3)
11,200
10,650
1 1 ,925
68,500
61,530
0 (3)
520,500
276,950
107,925
68,500
61,530
0 (3)
67,090
59,608
41,016
32,463
127,960
587,590
336,558
148,941
100,963
189,490

-100%
91%
-68%



-100%




449%
-100%




-88%
-100%




91%




-68%




Notes:  (1) Includes 1993 data for 1,1,1-trichloroethane.
        (2) 1991 and 1992 Total Releases and Transfers do not include on- or off-site recycling or energy recovery.
        (3) Based on company progress reports. Company stopped using dichloromethane in 1991 and  1,1,1-trichloroethane
        in 1993.

-------