I would think so! If they are on a physical surface they might be able to be transmitted to others and they might get sick.
I would think that the greater danger (but not much of one) is the containers and packaging that the ICs are shipped in. These containers must go out into the non-filtered air and be handled all possible sources of airborne radiation. Long story short: external testing for radiation should be more than sufficient. Now as for the IC packaging materials themselves I am not sure what level of radiation contamination they will be subjected to and therefore longer term IC package contamination should be monitored, but again I would expect the packaging materials to be protected.
The chip industry routinely does rad-hardening for ionizing radiations like high energy emag radiation (high altitude flights as well as space applications) and applications in nuclear reactors.
In digital parts, one can expect many soft errors caused by small doses of radiation, bit flips in memories or registers, etc. Higher doses lead to burnouts in power MOSFETS.
Most rad-hardening tests are based on single event effects testing. There is plenty of literature on this in the web.
@John-888: the radiation effects will show up right away in semiconductor devices exposed to it.
Is someone doing computations on how much radiation will pose a threat to devices? Last I knew, the level or radioactivity required to cause issues is not necessarily measureable on incoming materials. Could contamination of items like sputter targets could go unoticed, only to cause soft error rates further down the line? Perhaps someone (suppliers) is beginning long term radiactive emmision testing to convince everyone that all is OK.
In general, much of the chip industry is fabbed and packaged in HEPA controlled areas and are vacuum sealed. So it is unlikely that anything will be present in components. The only thing that bothers me is the "sliding scale" that is currently being used in the clean up efforts. Hopefully, this practice will not get propogated into manufactured goods.
My thanks to the author (Dylan McGrath) for this great article. While this naturally does address the first concern over "harmful levels" of radiation that may affect human health, it does not address whether component exposure to radiation during and after manufacture may adversely change components' performance.
My question is whether radiation may show up in a component's performance now or at a time much sooner than the component's planned expiration.
Having said the components are being contaminated by radioactive particle, will it be the same level as what we take from air? I assume this is just the same so the effect may be minimal. Anyway, just hope the Japanese can quickly solve this issue quickly.
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...