Will Your Inventory Management System Be Able to Address Changing Chemical Regulations?
Chemical regulations have been extremely dynamic over the past few years, and 2014 did not disappoint. There have been many changes and updates to compliance standards and initiatives within the last year, most of which have had an impact on how laboratories operate. This trend looks to continue in 2015, particularly in regard to global regulations.
To help you navigate the changing chemical environment, here is an overview of where we have been and where we are going:
Restriction on Hazardous Substances – This is a European Union law that restricts the use of certain chemicals in electrical products. In general, the law mandates that a product must not contain more than 0.1% by weight of any product on the list. Although this law has been in effect since July 2011, the scope was expanded in 2014 to include new product categories, particularly medical instruments. In 2015, expect the European Commission that enforces this law to continue reviewing current substances and adding new ones.
Global Harmonization System – As this regulation is being adopted in more places, 2014 saw a flurry of activity across the globe. One of the major milestones earlier this year was China’s rollout of worker access to safety data sheets earlier this year. The new year should see more focus on this regulation, particularly around June 1, 2015. This marks when the European Union will require chemical mixtures to meet GHS standards, while the United States has established this day for importers and employers to comply with HazCom 2012. U.S. distributors will also have until December 1, 2015, to update their labels according to GHS standards.
Toxic Substance Control Act – Due to the divide in Congress, the proposed reform of the Toxic Substance Control Act looks to be stalled. Even with a single party controlling both houses of Congress, the chances of real chemical reform appear to be slim. However, most of the chemical regulations implemented within the United States in 2014 were driven by state governments. California implemented a number of new chemical regulations, in particular the Safer Consumer Products regulation. This law requires that chemical manufacturers seek safer alternatives to potentially harmful chemicals that may be found in products. Various state governments look to continue to pass laws in order to fill in the gaps of Federal leadership on chemicals.
The growing body of regulatory requirements could be a challenge for laboratories in the coming years. Most have relied upon suppliers, safety officers and employees armed with paper and pencils to ensure compliance. However, as the laws become more complex, it might be time to consider implementing a chemical inventory management system.
Among the many benefits of a chemical inventory management system includes the ability to track the specific quantity of every chemical consumed, particularly helpful when dealing with Restrictions on Hazardous Substances laws. In addition, these systems also provide for the electronic distribution of safety data sheets, which could be helpful as new GHS requirements will be enforced this coming year. Finally, a chemical inventory management system will help managers stay nimble as U.S. state governments pass and enforce new chemical laws.
As regulatory requirements change, laboratories need to be able to evolve with them. A chemical inventory management system can help by reducing the cost and time associated with reaching compliance. For more information on how BIOVIA CISPro can help your laboratory meet and exceed standards in 2015, please visit our website today.