, Gloucester, MA


June 7, 2013

Varian employees return to work

After a potentially lethal gas leak Wednesday afternoon, employees of Varian Semiconductors, owned by Applied Materials, returned to work Thursday.

The boron trifluoride leak evacuated dozens of employees from the research and development building in Blackburn Industrial Park.

The building’s safety systems worked properly, and the pungent toxic gas was largely contained to the building itself; there were no injuries reported.

The gas is used to create a beam of boron ions that are implanted into semiconductors for use in the company’s components for smartphones, televisions, solar panels and other electronics.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000 x 3455 or

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