DHS: U.S. Chemical Industry Is Essential In Fight Against COVID-19

March 21, 2020
DHS recognized the chemical manufacturing sector and its employees as having “a special responsibility to maintain your work schedule.”

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) confirmed March 21 that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified the U.S. chemical industry and its workers as essential critical infrastructure, an industry sector critical to public health and safety, economic and national security. In its March 19, 2020 “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response,” the DHS recognized the chemical manufacturing sector and its employees as having “a special responsibility to maintain your work schedule.” DHS expects the chemical industry to continue normal operations, while following CDC workforce and customer protection guidance.

According to a release from ACC, the role of chemistry is particularly important today as chemicals enable countless products that will be needed to support life-saving medical care including personal protective gear for front-line health workers; chemical biocides and disinfectants that are the active ingredients in cleaning products that eliminate bacteria and viruses on a personal, household and industrial scale; and plastic products and packaging that help prevent contamination of food, medicine, personal care and medical products while helping prevent person-to-person transmission of disease-causing microorganisms. (See a list of products that can be used to fight COVID-19).

As state and local governments make their decisions regarding COVID-19 we fully expect them to rely on this DHS guidance and not place any undue restrictions that would impede chemical production, including the ability of employees to travel to work and the transportation of material to and from chemical facilities, the release noted.

Access the ACC COVID19 resource page.

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