Chemical assessment for occupational health & safety and environment

By Ann-Christin Pålsson & Ellen Riise

For the SCA hygiene business, a specific chemical assessment is performed for chemical products, involving both health and environmental aspects. If there are specific concerns, also a toxicology assessment is performed.

Chemical assessment

For chemical products a specific assessment procedure is used to secure the safety for environment, workers and end users and it is not allowed to use a chemical product without having an approval.

The assessment includes health& safety, environment and if applicable product safety. All chemical products used within manufacturing sites in Europe have to be carefully reviewed according to legislation, standards, and other demands such as customer requirements.

When introducing a new chemical product, a request for approval is sent to the chemical coordinator at the production site, including information about where and how the chemical will be used. A group performs the assessments and takes decisions on e.g. measures. The assessment is performed and documented using standard templates and is based on Safety Data Sheets (SDS) from the supplier.

Based on the assessment, measures to safeguard a correct handling of the chemical product is defined and implemented.

Toxicology assessment

For substances where there is a special concern for toxicological impacts a toxicology assessment is performed. This is a deeper risk assessment, where the risk and exposure is investigated.

The assessment involves an investigation of the workplace, information on how the substance is used, estimation of exposure, and collection of information about the effects of the substance.

Information for the assessment is collected via databases for chemical substances, and literature about the substance, e.g. scientific papers. Based on this either measures to control the risk is proposed, or the use of the substance is dissuaded.