A customer raised an interesting question regarding the use of our indium plating baths. I thought it was interesting enough to share. The question is:
“What are – if any – the health, safety, and environmental issues with this (indium plating) process?”
The answer: Indium metal has a toxicity similar to copper and a TLV of .1 mg/m³ in air as particulate air borne particles, which is not normally encountered using a plating bath. The plating bath would be toxic if ingested. Routine hygiene/safety practices include wearing safety glasses, wearing plastic gloves when handling, and washing hands after handling the metal or plating bath solution.
From time to time our Technical Service department conducts plating experiments, and it really is pretty simple when you know what to expect. (Especially compared to some of the other electronics manufacturing process they encounter.) If you have questions or concerns about the indium plating process, make sure you contact the experts: firstname.lastname@example.org