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Question Our facility has many plastic (non-esd) trash cans and bins that are in close proximity to circuit boards in process.  What risk does this pose to our products?

The high charging trash cans need to be kept at least 12” away from ESD sensitive items at all times or should be replaced with ESD protective trash cans.

“In order to mitigate field-induced CDM [Charged Device Model] damage, the ESD program shall include a plan for the handling of process-required insulators. If the field exceeds 2,000 volts/inch, steps shall be taken to either:

A) Separate the insulator from the ESD-sensitive device by a distance of 30 cm (12 inches);


B) Use ionization or other charge mitigating techniques to neutralize the charge.”

All nonessential insulators such as coffee cups, food wrappers and personal items shall be removed from the workstation or any operation where unprotected ESDS items are handled.” [ANSI/ESDS20.20-2007 section 8.3]

“It should be understood that any object, item, material or person could be a source of static electricity in the work environment. Removal of unnecessary nonconductors, replacing nonconductive materials with dissipative or conductive materials and grounding all conductors are the principle methods of controlling static electricity in the workplace, regardless of the activity.” [ESD Handbook ESD TR20.20 section 2.4 Sources of Static Electricity]

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