Chemical management discusses taking full control of all operations and activities where chemicals are involved in the facility. Chemical management is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the stakeholders.
Experts define chemical management as a procedure which tracks chemical products from procurement through to final disposal.
Why chemical management is necessary?
- Maintaining a license to operate.
- Access to the global market.
- Maintaining a competitive advantage.
- Minimizing excessive or replicative chemical purchases.
- Reduction in costs by reducing waste.
- To reduce downtime by creating a safer environment.
- To stop potential hazards before they become an issue.
- Traceability of chemicals in the supply chain.
- Reduction of chemicals can result in loading reduction in ETP.
Necessary steps for chemical management
- Identifying non-product outputs: Non-product outputs are all the material, energy and water which are used in the production process but do not end up in the final product.
Some non-product outputs are unqualified raw materials, rejects, reprocessing costs, waste (solid, liquid, toxic, non-toxic), wastewater, emissions, losses in storage, handling and transportation, losses on health and environmental problems. NPO consumes about 10-30% of the total cost of production.
- Identifying chemicals: To identify the chemicals the most used and safe way is SDS (Safety Data Sheet). It includes chemical name, chemical producer, use of the product, emergency response, standard operating procedure, chemical registration and management, safety education, etc.
CAS number is included in SDS. It is a unique numerical identifier assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS). Like Reactive Black 5 dye has a CAS number of 17095-24-8. From the SDS anyone can identify the hazards in the chemical possess. If any accident occurs anyone can take safety measure by inspecting the SDS.
- Proper chemical inventory and procurement practices: A chemical inventory is a structured base of information to conduct a risk assessment of each chemical and rank chemicals accordingly. It should include the comprehensive chemical list to assess chemical hazards, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers.
It must eliminate the duplication of chemicals ordered and decrease the disposal cost. The Personnel must be trained to assess the chemical hazards and also to recognize the requests for non-essential chemicals.
Before procurement one must ensure that chemicals should follow with Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and Technical Data Sheet (TDS). It is very important to ensure that the chemical is purchased from an approved supplier.
All the chemical containers must have correct labeling as per GHS for chemical containers. Hazardous waste must be managed/disposed of according to legal requirements.
- Quality control process:
- Ensure SDS is following GHS
- Cross Check the chemicals for the RSL and MRSL risk from the documentation provided such as MSDS, TDS, test reports, etc.
- Chemical testing of the chemical against exact and agreed specifications.
- If the chemical testing is not passed then return it to the chemical supplier with original PO no., Batch no. and date along with the reason for rejection.
- Ensuring the rejected chemicals do not come into contact with other chemicals, and are kept separate before returning to the supplier.
- Check the packaging and labeling meets all regulations.
- Verify the batch number against the physical drum batch number.
- Ensure the chemical is in quarantine until approved.
- Managing chemical waste:
- Systematically identify and quantify all chemical wastes (NPOs) in the industry and make their cost visible.
- Identify, separate and classify hazardous wastes.
- Create a waste inventory table further off-site treatment and disposal.
- Correctly separate waste at the generation point.
- Have an internal report on all waste.
- Arrange for safe on-site collection, labeling and storage of all waste.
- Set-up a waste action plan.
- Ensure Separation of combined waste during collection, storage and disposal routes because combined waste is considered hazardous.
- Empty chemical containers should be handled carefully. It can be in many ways like cleaning the chemical containers before storage and disposal. The hazardous containers are not reused for storage of food items. The industry should explore with the chemical supplier, the possibility of a take-back system of the chemical containers.
- Wastewater and sludge management:
- Recipe review can achieve chemical reduction.
- Recovery of caustic after the mercerizing Process.
- Replacing hazardous chemicals with less hazardous chemicals. Example: Bi-reactive dyes in place of mono-reactive dyes.
- Sampling should be done for disposed wastewater.
- Effluent load calculations should be done to run ETP Properly.
- Never use a chemical load which cannot be handled by the ETP.