Toxic Exposures and the Workplace

Environment and health NGOs and labour unions have long pointed to the lack of attention the federal government accords workplace exposures in its assessments and management of toxic chemicals. However, we are presently at a unique crossroads where government may finally be prepared to listen. Firstly, a recent consultation document issued by the Chemicals Management Plan (“Consulting on an integrated strategy for the protection of Canadian workers from exposure to chemicals”) marks a change in the program’s interest in workplace settings. Secondly, following the recent federal election, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change have both been mandated to “better protect people and the environment from toxins and other pollution, including by strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999”.

Spotlight

Shire

At Shire, we are champions for people around the world who are struggling with rare diseases – they are at the center of everything we do. Our 23,000+ employees come to work every day with a common purpose: to develop and deliver breakthrough therapies that enable people with life-altering conditions to live their lives to the fullest. We are dedicated to expanding, building and sustaining leadership across our key therapeutic areas through our extensive portfolio of products, innovative pipeline and collaborative approach to working with diverse partners around the globe.

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Chemical Technology

Petrochemicals markets complexity is only going to grow and grow

Article | July 20, 2022

NICE WORK, if you get can get it. A trucking company in Fort Worth, Texas, is offering to pay experienced drivers $14,000 a week – $728,000 a year – as the US struggles with a nationwide shortage of truckers or lorry drivers. This reminds me of perhaps an apocryphal tale, from the height of the last Australian mining boom. Before iron ore prices collapsed in late 2014, there was a story about workers at mining site road junctions who operated manual “Stop and Go” signs. They were said to be earning more than Australian dollar (A$) 200,000 a year. Before you pack in your job as, say, a petrochemicals sales manager and head to Texas or mine sites in Western Australia, there is the risk that when you arrive at the door of your new prospective employer, the bubble might have already burst. This is assuming we are in bubble conditions.The pressure is clearly building in petrochemicals and other commodity markets as prices in some regions remain at record highs or continue to rise. Today’s prices are the results of shortages of commodities supply (for example in petrochemicals, an outcome of the US winter storms), very strong demand and supply chain disruptions.I am beginning to believe that the latter is the biggest reason for commodity price inflation which is feeding through into sharp rises in the cost of finished goods – and a lack of goods availability. It is delivering and manufacturing enough stuff that seems to be at the heart of today’s problems due to shortages of everything from container freight space and semiconductors to wooden pallets, tin cans, metal drums, cardboard – and US truck drivers.

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Chemical Management

Application of Chromatography in Various Industries is Changing the Game!

Article | July 13, 2021

Used to separate and analyze compounds into their various components— chromatography plays a crucial part not just in the food industry but in the realms of drug testing, forensics, and even quality control in our favourite alcoholic drinks as well. Advanced Chromatography is an analytical technique introduced to the world by chromatography instrument companies to separate and analyze individual chemicals from complex compounds. Recent developments in the biotechnology and pharma industries have created a significant surge in the chromatography market. Read on to find out five fascinating facts about the day-to-day applications of chromatography in various industries and why businesses are looking to invest more in OEM chromatography manufacturing. Why are Industry-Decision Makers Adapting to Chromatography? Liquid Chromatography; A Popular Choice in Drug Testing Today, a lot of drug tests use liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry because it is easy to use, widely available, and gives quick results. LC and LC-MS can be done in almost any testing facility, which is different from other methods. It can be run by people with little training, so a testing facility can hire mostly technicians instead of highly trained scientists, who are harder to find. LC-MS is also very accurate, which means that there are fewer false positives. With liquid chromatography, you can get results in about 10 to 30 minutes, which is very fast. This technology is used by many drug testing labs across the country. It is widely used and trusted for testing drug samples and many other things. Businesses associated with the sports industry are leveraging chromatography to effectively and accurately test athletes for doping or performance-enhancing drugs. Use of HPCL in Pharmaceutical Industries Chromatography is used in the medical and pharmaceutical industries to create vaccines. In addition, chromatography can determine which antibodies best neutralize viruses and diseases. Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc. used the chromatography technique to develop the experimental immunization Zmapp to counteract the deadly Ebola virus. And it is still being used today to fight the coronavirus. The pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous success by exclusively using HPLC to obtain precise results during drug trials. The results can be used to analyze finished drug products and their ingredients quantitatively and qualitatively during manufacturing. The Detector in Forensic Science Chromatography methods are a well-established, powerful suite of methodologies in forensic science, from drug busts, murders, and robberies, to the identification of a plethora of chemical compounds that may be present in samples from terrorist incidents. Forensics use gas chromatography to help solve crimes. It helps analyze blood and clothing samples, allowing forensic scientists to investigate who and what was present at a crime scene. In particular instances, chromatography can even help forensic scientists pinpoint the exact whereabouts of the alleged perpetrator and victim before the crime happened. It’s an error-free process. Therefore, it is incredibly helpful in court. Additionally, chromatography is extremely handy in arson investigations. Most fires have a virtual cocktail of different substances. Every compound and substance differs in size and weight. Chromatography helps break down these varying compounds and substances to help determine what exactly started the fire. Liquid Chromatography in Food Industry Liquid chromatography plays a vital role in the food industry nowadays. It absolves and permits the selective removal of a wide variety of flavor and non-flavor-active food ingredients. The USDA, along with other countries, has prioritized rigorous testing of processed meat's contents. For example, in 2013, it was found that horsemeat was being sold as beef without anyone noticing. As a result, the food industry decided to change its analytical techniques. Chromatography quickly became the best way to find out what was in processed meats. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and mass spectrometry were used to ensure that meat labeled beef was actually beef. In addition, it could tell if horse meat was mixed in with the beef, which helped keep people safe. Bio-Rad Fast Acid Analysis Column in Beverage Testing Not just food, many beverage manufacturers also use chromatography to ensure that each bottle of their product is the same. But, again, consistent taste is the main priority. And knowing the exact content of each bottle is the most proactive way to measure things. The Bio-Rad fast acid analysis column has been successfully used by many companies to quantitatively determine vitamin C in juices, fresh drinks, and powdered drinks. Chromatography Market is Opening New Dimensions in Various Businesses Undoubtedly, technological advancement has created a vigorous need for chromatography devices. According to Verified Market Research, growing at a CAGR of 3.4% from 2020 to 2027, the chromatography market is projected to reach USD 4.73 billion by 2027. The chromatography instrumentation market is currently witnessing huge advancements in the design of columns. This is raising the demand for development of better analytical reagents and resins. Increasing collaborations among the existing players, specifically in the Asian market is another propelling factor for this market. Additionally, emergence of green chromatography, increasing usage of chromatography instruments for monoclonal antibody purification, and usage of nanomaterial in chromatography are also fuelling the growth of this market. Plus, increased government funding in research and development activities is further driving the market growth. With various pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, chemical, food and beverage, and other industries contributing to its market growth, one thing is for sure— the increase in the chromatography system market is here to stay.

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Chemical Technology

Global polyolefins for the rest of 2021: supply to lengthen as demand muddle continues

Article | July 14, 2022

SOMEHOW, despite the still very serious container freight shortages that have limited imports, buying sentiment seems to have weakened in the European polyolefins market, according to my outstanding ICIS colleague, Linda Naylor.

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Chemical Technology

Survey Report: The State of Intelligent Operations in Oil and Gas

Article | June 11, 2021

Intelligent Operations can play a vital role in creating connected content environments, however, many companies – especially within oil and gas – having been slow on the uptake. Businesses that implement digital transformation initiatives often gain a competitive advantage over their rivals, as they benefit from reductions in human error, increases in productivity and further support for compliance efforts. This report, produced in collaboration with OpenText, dives into the results of our Intelligent Operations in Oil and Gas Survey 2020, revealing where the industry is in terms of its adoption of Intelligent Operations and the hurdles it needs to overcome to truly embrace digital platforms and solutions.

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Spotlight

Shire

At Shire, we are champions for people around the world who are struggling with rare diseases – they are at the center of everything we do. Our 23,000+ employees come to work every day with a common purpose: to develop and deliver breakthrough therapies that enable people with life-altering conditions to live their lives to the fullest. We are dedicated to expanding, building and sustaining leadership across our key therapeutic areas through our extensive portfolio of products, innovative pipeline and collaborative approach to working with diverse partners around the globe.

Related News

NGOs file suit over transparency of TSCA new chemicals programme

Chemical Watch | March 18, 2020

A coalition of NGOs has sued the US EPA over an alleged lack of transparency in the TSCA new chemicals programme, which "thwart[s] the ability of the public to be informed and to provide input". According to a complaint filed by five environmental nonprofits in federal court today, the EPA has operated its TSCA premanufacture review process in a "black box, denying the public information to which they are legally entitled". Having access to timely information, they contend, is necessary to ensure the members they represent "are able to provide input on the potential risks of new chemicals and the need for protections from those risks prior to completion of EPA’s reviews." And they therefore have asked the court to ensure that the EPA complies with TSCA’s disclosure provisions, including by requiring that it:

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ACC to Trump, governors: Keep chemical industry going during coronavirus crisis

S&P Global | March 18, 2020

The US chemical industry's trade group told President Donald Trump and state governors this week that its sector must maintain operations as the coronavirus outbreak spreads to ensure supply of chemicals needed for disinfectants, plastics for food preservation and medical equipment, and staples like diapers and soap. "The role of chemistry is particularly important today, as chemicals enable countless products that will be needed to support good hygiene and treat those who are infected with the coronavirus in the weeks and months ahead," American Chemistry Council President and CEO Chris Jahn said in a letter to Trump and governors late Tuesday. Efforts to hinder the spread of coronavirus have included cancellations of major sporting events, concerts, conferences, parades, and other large gatherings, as well as closures of bars and limiting restaurants to takeout and deliveries. Companies have increasingly sent employees to work from their homes, while hospitals, grocery stores, and drug stores work to keep up with demand for care and products.

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How small chemical company leaders are dealing with the coronavirus

C&EN | March 17, 2020

As measures to contain the coronavirus—SARS-CoV-2—sweep across the US, the heads of privately owned chemical and instrument companies find themselves in uncharted territory trying to keep their companies going and their employees safe. C&EN reached out to CEOs of several such firms to learn what they are doing to keep business moving forward. We heard stories about setbacks, as expected supplies didn’t come through, but also small triumphs, as needed safety equipment was finally found. Overall, these leaders are keeping a close eye on supplies while planning for the real possibility that orders will drop in the coming months. Keeping staff healthy and maintaining continuity in customer service are the top priorities at Boron Specialties. “We are a pretty small facility, seven people &on-site&, so as best as we can we’re isolating,” CEO and founder Beth Bosley says.

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NGOs file suit over transparency of TSCA new chemicals programme

Chemical Watch | March 18, 2020

A coalition of NGOs has sued the US EPA over an alleged lack of transparency in the TSCA new chemicals programme, which "thwart[s] the ability of the public to be informed and to provide input". According to a complaint filed by five environmental nonprofits in federal court today, the EPA has operated its TSCA premanufacture review process in a "black box, denying the public information to which they are legally entitled". Having access to timely information, they contend, is necessary to ensure the members they represent "are able to provide input on the potential risks of new chemicals and the need for protections from those risks prior to completion of EPA’s reviews." And they therefore have asked the court to ensure that the EPA complies with TSCA’s disclosure provisions, including by requiring that it:

Read More

ACC to Trump, governors: Keep chemical industry going during coronavirus crisis

S&P Global | March 18, 2020

The US chemical industry's trade group told President Donald Trump and state governors this week that its sector must maintain operations as the coronavirus outbreak spreads to ensure supply of chemicals needed for disinfectants, plastics for food preservation and medical equipment, and staples like diapers and soap. "The role of chemistry is particularly important today, as chemicals enable countless products that will be needed to support good hygiene and treat those who are infected with the coronavirus in the weeks and months ahead," American Chemistry Council President and CEO Chris Jahn said in a letter to Trump and governors late Tuesday. Efforts to hinder the spread of coronavirus have included cancellations of major sporting events, concerts, conferences, parades, and other large gatherings, as well as closures of bars and limiting restaurants to takeout and deliveries. Companies have increasingly sent employees to work from their homes, while hospitals, grocery stores, and drug stores work to keep up with demand for care and products.

Read More

How small chemical company leaders are dealing with the coronavirus

C&EN | March 17, 2020

As measures to contain the coronavirus—SARS-CoV-2—sweep across the US, the heads of privately owned chemical and instrument companies find themselves in uncharted territory trying to keep their companies going and their employees safe. C&EN reached out to CEOs of several such firms to learn what they are doing to keep business moving forward. We heard stories about setbacks, as expected supplies didn’t come through, but also small triumphs, as needed safety equipment was finally found. Overall, these leaders are keeping a close eye on supplies while planning for the real possibility that orders will drop in the coming months. Keeping staff healthy and maintaining continuity in customer service are the top priorities at Boron Specialties. “We are a pretty small facility, seven people &on-site&, so as best as we can we’re isolating,” CEO and founder Beth Bosley says.

Read More

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