An ELN Can Help Your Lab Address REACH Compliance with Bisphenol A Products

Chemical Regulations, ELN

reach compliance
BPA in plastics is a hot-button international health issue. An ELN can help prepare your lab for potential new regulations and maintain REACH compliance. 
Image source: Flickr user Rubbermaid Products

Within the last several years, the popularity of reusable containers has increased significantly as part of the green movement. Because numerous people use reusable containers on a daily basis, many have become concerned about the materials used in their production, and how those materials may affect their health. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound used in the production of a number of plastics and epoxy resins. It has been used commercially for over 50 years, but has become a hot-button health issue over the last decade.

After researchers identified levels of the compound in human urine in the early 2000s, many research groups have explored the source of human BPA exposure. As a component of plastics, BPA is found in the lining of food and beverage cans as well as numerous other plastic products. Some studies have demonstrated hormone-like properties of BPA as an endocrine disruptor, leading many nations to take measures to limit public exposure to the compound.

Though some studies suggest BPA exposure can have detrimental effects on organ systems, it has been difficult for regulatory agencies to reach a consensus on exposure limits. Following thorough review, the European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) has determined that BPA does not meet the “substance of very high concern” (SVHC) status regarding chemical monitoring and reporting. Manufacturers, importers and users of SVHC face heavier regulatory requirements. In March 2014, the Risk Assessment Committee supported an opinion proposing BPA as reprotoxic 1B and is currently under review.

The chemical regulatory environment is volatile and often under the influence of public opinion, and not always based on scientific evidence. In order to be prepared for new regulations and reporting requirements, chemical manufacturers and users of chemicals in product manufacturing should consider implementing an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN). An ELN can help your lab address REACH compliance through these useful features:

Efficient digital record keeping

In research, records are everything. From proving reproducibility to answering procedural questions, a permanent digital record supports project progress and can help your lab address regulatory REACH compliance. The digital record preserved with an ELN can stand as evidence of chemical use (or non-use) in a project and provides proof of chemical concentrations. For labs involved in determining the effect of a chemical on organ systems, your ELN contains the evidence to either support or refute popular opinion regarding the health safety of chemicals important to your company’s production.

Access records in real time from anywhere

Many firms are multi-national these days, which can make it difficult to share records and collaborate in real time. Since nations have different regulatory requirements for chemical use, it can be very complicated for firms to manage their products and maintain regulatory compliance. An ELN can help your firm simplify REACH compliance by providing easy access to all chemical records in real-time from anywhere in the world. Using only a standard web browser, employees can logon to the ELN and view procedures, records and other product information. Such simple access takes an extra layer out of red-tape processes, allowing multiple departments within a firm to share information and records.

Digital signatures and workflow reminders

Part of maintaining REACH compliance involves compiling records and submitting documents in a timely manner. The built-in digital signatures and workflow reminders can help employees stay accountable for their responsibilities within the regulatory processes. Managers can sign off of completed steps and set workflow reminders so employees always know what to do next.

If your firm is interested in supporting REACH compliance with an efficient, cost-effective system, visit our website to learn more about how BIOVIA Notebook can meet your needs.

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