How to Reduce an Organization’s Environmental Risk of Chemical Pollution

Chemical Pollution is one of the significant issues which need to be tackled by the organisation using chemicals. Most of the chemical’s pollution toward the environment is irreversible, which can only be countered by applying engineering measures or eco ways like plantation etc.

Here below the eight ways through which organisations can reduce the environmental risks due to chemicals:

  1. Conduct Environment Risk Assessment 

Proactively identifying the environmental risk related to the chemical is one of the significant contributions to reducing chemical pollution in any organisation. Organisations can develop a risk assessment mechanism, especially risk associated with environmental degradation due to chemical usage activities of the organisation. Environment risk should be categorised into high, medium and low based on some pre-defined mechanism. Based on the mechanism, categorisation of environment risk should be done, and the target of this assessment is to reduce all risk levels to low by applying some corrective actions. This disciplinary action can be substation, replacement, engineering or administrative measures. Where required, Safety Data Sheets (SDS) should be utilised for this purpose.

  1. Usage of Chemicals at a dedicated area

To avoid cross-contamination and reduce the environmental risks due to chemical spillage or exposure to the environment, use a dedicated place for the chemicals or, where dedicated space is not available, then cordon off the existing workstation area to avoid the exposure of the chemical to the environment. Install some measures at the cordon off or chemical usage dedicated area to reduce the negative effect of the chemical on the environment.  

  1. Technology Usage for Application

In the 21st Century, the world has excelled a lot in technology usage. Chemical pollution can be avoided by using the technology available in the market like in the case of automobile paints; pre-programmed robots are utilised to paint the vehicle which applied uniform paint on vehicle body as well all of this process is being carried in a dedicated place where some sort of filters is installed to capture the fumes and paint waste generated as a result of this activity. All extra paint and fumes are filtered, and these filters are properly disposed of to save the environment. Similarly, in a chemical plant, multiple efforts are applied by humans, and environmental pollution is being controlled with the help of technology.

  1. Release Chemicals by Eco-treatment 

In some industries, chemical usage is unpreventable, and chemicals are released with comixing of water, especially in the case of leather, textile and dyeing industries. Again, to cater to the chemical fumes, some sort of paint booths can be utilised, but when chemicals are mixed with the water, such a type of water requires proper treatment before being released into the mainstream nullah. So, an effluent treatment plant (ETP) is one of the possible solutions for this, especially in the case of dyeing, leather and textile industries. ETP treats the wastewater and releases the non-harmful water to the mainstream so that it does not affect aquatic life or underground drinking water. 

  1. Segregation of Chemical Storage  

Storage of chemicals is a complete science and for which experts are available in the market. If storage of the chemicals is not properly done, it can pollute land by spillage, water when cleaning of spillage is done, and air by its fumes. In case of proper storage of chemicals, the organisation should take guidance from the Safety Data Sheet of the respective material, and the guidelines of SDS should not be ignored. In case of storage, proper chemical management software is available in the market, which automatically calculates the quantity, expiry, location etc., of the respective chemical.

  1. Disposal through EPA approved vendor

Chemical residue like packing container, wastage, expire or dormant material is available in the organisation which is just covering the space, polluted the land, air or water where it is available and it just the increased the indirect cost of the organisation so to handle such material proper environment protection agency (EPA) approved the company should hire waste handler in order to safe disposal of it. An organisation should hand over such obsolete or waste material to the waste contractor for disposal, and where a possible timely audit of this contractor should be conducted to verify the safe disposal of chemicals. 

  1. Usage of Biodegradable Material

In the 21st century, many biodegradable materials have been introduced in the market, which degrade with time, like D2O plastic material that decomposes with the passage of time. Similarly, non-solvent-based adhesives, dyes and chemicals have been introduced through the application of which organisations can reduce the risk of environmental chemical pollution. 

  1. Trained Manpower

No matter how much you invest in storage, technical equipment, eco-treatment plants and handling equipment but still one major factor is the human who is driving all of these operations, so if human at the operation is not trained or qualified, then the organisation can’t achieve the desire results so to tackle the environmental risks related to chemical pollution, proper awareness should be provided to the manpower directly in contact with the chemical. Proper training related to chemical usages, handling, transportation and related technology should be provided to the respective person. And the most important thing is to give awareness related to environment-related risk assessment, which has been done in the organisation; otherwise, this risk assessment will just remain in documents. The actual implementation of environmental risk assessment will only be done if proper awareness is being provided to the respective manpower of the organisation.

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