The chemical industry includes all the industries that manufacture commercial and residential chemicals. Central to the contemporary world economy, it produces more than 70,000 distinct products. The petrochemical industry includes some overlap, since some chemical firms also manufacture fuels and chemicals as well. There are numerous small, mid-sized, and large chemical manufacturers in the United States. In addition, China, India, and Iran have significant chemical manufacturing capacities.
The chemicals market is diverse, and the chemicals used daily vary greatly by type, and application. There are many types of chemicals including cleaning chemicals, thermo-genesis agents, antineoplastic agents, antimicrobials, and many more. Thus, there is a great need for a custom chemical manufacturer who can meet the requirements of a wide range of customers. A good manufacturer can design and manufacture the specific chemicals that are required by industries for proper functioning. It is not possible for most factories to possess the resources, expertise, and experience to supply their own chemicals, leaving them dependent upon outside firms for the supply of chemicals on an as-needed basis.
When a company places orders with a chemical manufacturer , they often require safety and environmental testing and approval before the chemicals are released into the environment. Many chemical manufacturers have developed specialized facilities to comply with all these procedures. An example of a safety test procedure is the installation of closed-system drug-transfer devices at the point of use so that hazardous chemicals do not enter the environment. In the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, workers may be exposed to hazardous chemical residues during the preparation of medications, drug manufacture and distribution, and storage of drugs in the vessel and pharmaceutical drums, cabinets, and other storage containers. In the dental and healthcare industries, dental materials may be subjected to various toxic chemicals during the preparation of teeth and gum fillings and during the distribution of dental products. Similarly, healthcare employees may be exposed to hazardous chemical residues during the preparation, administration, and distribution of medical drugs.
According to OSHA guidelines, "chemical hazards" are any "known or suspected adverse health effects resulting from exposure to a chemical that may cause injury." For example, the inhalation of benzene may cause temporary pulmonary effects, temporary nose, and throat irritation, and aggravate respiratory disease such as emphysema. The acute and chronic health effects caused by exposure to many chemicals are well known. However, the effects on the environment may not be as clearly evident. OSHA does not require employers to ensure chemical hazards are identified and properly addressed. Therefore, chemical manufacturers bear the cost of hiring a contractor to perform a hazard determination and provide necessary safety data and documentation.
The chemicals involved in chemical manufacturing can be divided into two major categories: natural and synthetic. The processing of natural chemicals involves the replacement of one chemical with another, usually to produce a new product. Synthetic chemicals, on the other hand, are produced through a process that imparts chemical properties that are similar to those of other substances. For example, by replacing chlorine with ammonia, a pure water supply would no longer contain chlorine. The processing of synthetic chemicals involves the separation of a specific number of atoms from the remaining materials in order to create a new chemical.
When the importer requests the exemption, his product must comply with both the OSHA and EPA hazardous chemical standards. The importer is then required to provide the OSHA identification number, a list of its facilities, and a declaration that the hazardous chemical is used at the facility. The importer is also required to provide written assurances that all employees are trained in handling the chemicals according to standard practices. The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring its facilities are in compliance with the EPA rules. If the manufacturer fails to do so, the importer has the right to enter into a Federal court lawsuit to force the company to abide by the Hazard Communication Standard.
If the court does not grant the manufacturer an exemption, the manufacturer must identify the facilities that handle the chemicals in question. Then, according to OSHA, the facility's management must develop and implement a plan for reducing or eliminating the exposure of workers to the listed chemical. The plan may include basic measures such as the elimination of the use of the unlisted chemicals in the workplace, appropriate equipment and facilities to protect workers from exposure, and the reporting of any occupational exposure to the chemical. In addition, the company must submit periodic reports to OSHA detailing the actions it has taken to ensure compliance with the Hazard Communication Standard. These reports may be filed along with the manufacturer's annual report to the OSHA and they can also be obtained from the office of the State Engineer.
Finally, the chemical manufacturer, importer, or employer preparing the material safety data sheet shall prepare and submit an annual hazard analysis to comply with the HDS. In this report, the hazards that were determined during the last year should be listed, together with those that have been addressed, modified, or removed. It is important for the hazard analysis to identify all known or anticipated adverse effects on human health or the environment. The analysis should also provide the information required by the OSHA Safety Requirements.