The specialty chemicals industry produces various substances for many applications, including paints and inks, detergents, pharmaceuticals, and biocides for agricultural use. Skin and respiratory exposure to chemicals used to develop these materials can leave operators at risk for burns, respiratory complications, rashes, and cancer.
Because of these serious risks, the specialty chemicals industry faces some of the most stringent safety standards and governmental regulations. Chemical compliance relies on representative sampling to reduce employees’ exposure to chemicals while maximizing production and minimizing capital costs.
Meeting the Challenge of Federal Regulations
Specialty chemicals are under extensive federal and local legislation to ensure operator and environmental safety of their processes and products. These guidelines are continuously updated to reflect the latest science and understanding of these chemicals’ effect on human and ecological health.
For example, in December 2020, the EPA published its final version of the updated Fuels Regulatory Streamlining rule, which takes effect in January 2022. The new rule updates the EPA’s existing gasoline, diesel, and other fuel quality programs to improve overall compliance assurance and maintain environmental performance while reducing compliance costs for the industry and the EPA.
However, some regulations remain within standard expectations across a variety of federal standards.
- OSHA requires the following documentation:
- Identification of potential sampling sites
- Who will take the sample
- How the sample will be taken
- The chemical make up of the sample
- The EPA expands on OSHA’s minimum requirements by mandating:
- An EPA approved quality management program
- An annual assessment of the quality program
- Appropriate training of all personnel involved with the quality program
- Training should ensure all responsibilities and requirements are understood.
- The FDA requires all food products, including flavorings, to be sampled. Samples are minimally required to:
- Represent a portion of a lot of goods
- Include observations and labels within the report
- Documentary evidence of federal jurisdiction over the lot
- Signed documentation of individuals who witnessed the sample being taken
Prevent Risks with Representative Sampling
Implementing a sampling system that removes the operator from the process is critical to protect personnel from hazardous situations.
Hazardous situations may occur in a variety of circumstances such as:
- The transition of goods through processes or packaging
- Opening any pressurized containers
- During routine examinations
- Entering hazardous (inaccessible or confined) areas.
- Handling with the hazardous materials, e.g.:
- Flammable substances
- Oxidizing substances
- Toxic substances
- Corrosive substances and irritants
Manual sampling doesn’t protect operators from these situations and can expose them to potentially caustic or harmful chemicals in the process. Exposing plant employees to these materials could cause lawsuits, halt production and lead to fines.
Representative sampling ensures that specialty chemical producers are meeting federal requirements and maintaining operator safety. It allows them to provide a composite sample that helps identify the EPA requirements of acute and chronic human health effects and environmental effects to ensure they’re well within the required limits.
What’s more, sampling throughout the specialty chemical production process ensures processes meet production expectations, are free from contamination, and produce the expected quality product.
Sentry Equipment ensures specialty chemical manufacturers keep employees safe, maximize their bottom line, reduce risk, and maximize uptime.
Sentry Equipment can review your sampling process, so you’re ready to meet all regulations. Contact us at +1-262-567-7256, or complete our online contact form for more information.