Two British firms have won exemptions from EU anti-ozone depletion rules agreed last year restricting the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) (EED 02/10/00). Under a European Commission decision announced last week, Kulicke and Soffa will be allowed to continue using HCFC-225 as a solvent for testing silicon chips, while Telemark Cyrogenics will continue using HCFC-123 as a refrigerant in newly produced cooling systems for specialist medical, optical and semiconductor equipment. Both uses will be banned from the end of this year, but the firms will get extensions of twelve months because alternatives are not yet ready.
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