Digital Management Can Ease the Adoption of Changing New Regulations

Chemical Regulations

adoption-of-chemicalsChanging chemical regulations can cause a headache for organizations. What solutions can firms adopt to help them with the transition? Image source: Flickr CC user Hey Paul

Longtime critics of the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) achieved a milestone victory last June when President Obama signed a bipartisan reform bill. The new law overhauls the outdated legislation, granting the EPA more power to regulate new and existing chemicals. For companies, however, these changing chemical regulations emphasize the importance of on-site hazardous material management. More than ever, firms need to move away from outdated paper-based systems and adopt digital systems to help their facilities remain in compliance.

TSCA Modernization Will Encourage Companies to Implement Modern Solutions

Industrial globalization has led to world-spanning organizations with facilities located in different geographic regions. While this kind of expansion is a business necessity in today’s economy, it can cause difficulties with hazardous chemicals. Other countries have made major advances in chemical safety policy over the past four decades, so reform advocates hope the new law will bring the United States into the 21st century1  and make international safety standards more consistent.

In fact, consistency could be considered the key takeaway from TSCA modernization. The new guidelines introduce more uniformity to the testing process. Highlights of the reform law include:

  • Mandated safety reviews for chemicals currently available on the market
  • Required safety findings for new chemicals prior to entering the market
  • A health-based safety standard versus the cost-benefit safety standard used in the original legislation
  • Prioritization of protecting vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and pregnant women

The updated guidelines streamline the risk evaluation process, which is  important since many of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently registered for use have never been studied for safety.2  The EPA now has to balance the pressure of evaluating substances like asbestos and PFOA3  with brand new chemicals waiting to enter the market. In addition to the EPA, companies across all industries are also affected by the changing chemical regulations. But similar to the way the  updated TSCA implemented guidelines that make the risk evaluation process more efficient, organizations can adopt solutions that streamline the management of hazardous chemicals.

Digital Solutions Streamline Chemical Management

Changing chemical regulations often pose a challenge for large companies that maintain extensive inventory on-site. Keeping track of expiration dates, locations and updated safety information can be overwhelming, especially when traditional paper-based systems are used. The new TSCA guidelines put in place can further strain organizational resources:

  • The EPA’s increased regulatory power over new and existing chemicals may require companies to generate more safety reports. Collecting and analyzing the information necessary for those reports consumes time and resources, raising compliance costs. To minimize these costs, organizations will need to find ways to centralize their chemical management systems. Replacing disjointed paper-based processes with a unified digital solution can help keep costs down by streamlining the chemical management process and removing inefficiency.
  • The EPA’s ability to review all commercially available chemicals can change their safety status. To cope with any safety information changes, companies will need a chemical management system that supports the linking of safety data sheets. With a digital system, organizations have the ability to easily review safety data sheets and determine whether their facilities have the most updated version.
  • As demonstrated by the push to evaluate the health and environmental safety of asbestos and PFOA, there exists the possibility of the EPA banning a commercially available toxic substance. When hazardous materials are banned, facilities must phase out their use. Modern chemical management systems support real-time inventory tracking, informing facilities which toxic substances are stored on-site. If the EPA bans a chemical, they can determine whether the material is in their inventory and identify its location so it can be disposed of safely.

Changing chemical regulations are only one result of the increased scrutiny facing many industries today. To keep pace with these updates and minimize disruptions caused by their adoption, organizations will need to find better and more efficient management solutions. The reforms ushered in by the new TSCA legislation further emphasize the importance of streamlined chemical management systems. As new guidelines push risk evaluations into the modern age, firms must transition from outdated systems to digital solutions that support their compliance efforts.download Carol movie now

BIOVIA CISPro is a powerful digital chemical management system that large companies can utilize in multiple facilities to streamline their processes. From flexible tools that enable real-time inventory tracking to safety data sheet management, the system also features customization options to support shifting workflows responding to changing chemical regulations. If you’re interested in learning how BIOVIA CISPro can help your organization remain compliant with regulatory guidelines, please contact us today to learn more and request a demo.

  1. “A strong new chemical safety law,” Last updated June 22, 2016, https://www.edf.org/health/policy/chemicals-policy-reform
  2. “Testing toxic chemicals: Manufacturers say new law will help streamline procedures,” July 30, 2016, http://thetandd.com/news/local/testing-toxic-chemicals-manufacturters-say-new-law-will-help-streamline/article_052cca3b-3fef-5f34-ab52-ae654f5f4165.html
  3. “CHEMICALS: With landmark law finally in place, pressure’s on EPA,” July 1, 2016, http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060039735