Hazardous Chemicals: Knowledge Is Power

Sept. 5, 2012

With great discovery comes great risk. Chemical companies are no exceptions. But employees have a right to know what they are dealing with at work. If they are exposed to hazardous chemicals, they should have resources available to understand the risks and learn how to best manage their environment.  

Enter ChemHAT (Chemical Hazard and Alternatives Toolkit) database -- www.chemhat.org. This free online database enables workers to look up 10,000 commonly used chemicals and see their acute and chronic health effects.

“Workers around the country deserve to know what dangers are presented by the chemicals they work with every day, but that information was too difficult to come by in many cases,” says IUE-CWA President Jim Clark in a press release announcing the launch of the database. “Working with the BlueGreen Alliance, we were able to help jumpstart this important resource that is easy-to-use and ensures no worker ever has to be caught unaware of the dangers their workplace poses to them and their community.”

ChemHAT was designed by more than 130 workers represented by IUE-CWA, the United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers and Communications Workers of America. The workers examined existing databases and discussed what was needed to make a tool that would be easy and accessible to the widest range of people. 

Do you think this is a much-needed resource? What chemicals would you add to the database?

About the Author

Traci Purdum | Editor-in-Chief

Traci Purdum, an award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering manufacturing and management issues, is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent, Ohio, and an alumnus of the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

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