Printed wiring boards (PWBs) are an intrinsic part of many products in the electronics, defense, communication, and automotive industries. The traditional manufacture of PWBs requires materials and technologies that raise a number of environmental and human health concerns. Specifically, wet chemical processes such as those used in PWB fabrication are a significant source of hazardous waste and consume large amounts of water and energy. Alternative technologies are available to accomplish the making holes conductive (MHC) function; most of them eliminate the use of formaldehyde, reduce water and energy use, and generate less waste. The potential environmental and cost advantages of the alternatives are beginning to become apparent and have generated strong interest on the part of industry. To date, however, reliable data comparing these alternative technologies have not been available. To address this data gap, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) teamed up with industry experts in the Design for the Environment (DfE) PWB Project. The project team performed a comparative evaluation of seven different MHC technologies. The analysis focused on evaluating human health and environmental risk, performance, and cost. The technologies evaluated were: electroless copper, carbon, conductive polymer, graphite, non-formaldehyde electroless copper, organic-palladium, and tin-palladium.