An Approach to Chemical Review, Approval, & Hazard Communication
Fischman, M.D., Michael
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Chemical use & handling is pervasive and evolving in many industries, with the semiconductor industry representing an extreme example. Decisions regarding chemical selection, substitution, controls and communication require adequate information, which is typically not available on MSDSs. A chemical management / approval program provides for new chemical review before introduction, including approval or rejection using science-based guidelines. Such a program requires a written chemical use policy, management support, standardized procedures for chemical evaluation, purchasing controls, and communication, aggressive pursuit of toxicology and other information from all available sources, and appropriate staff and resources. Scientific guidelines provide a detailed methodology and approach to making decisions about specific chemicals, regarding potential carcinogenicity, potential reproductive / developmental toxicity, and other toxicologic and hazardous properties. As an example, a guideline regarding carcinogens would entail an approach to evaluating and classifying potential carcinogenicity and a commitment to precluding any employee exposure to known or probable carcinogens. The major challenges to chemical approval programs include the frequent absence of adequate toxicology information or use experience for new chemicals, limited support from chemical manufacturers / suppliers, and pressure from the chemical user for quick approval.