Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem), a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, is committed to high ethical standards, the protection of health and safety and environmental stewardship. OxyChem is a manufacturer and marketer of commodity chemical products, and its customers are primarily other manufacturers and distributors, rather than end-users.
An active member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), OxyChem has implemented the ACC's Responsible Care® principles, as well as codes and standards of the ACC, the Chlorine Institute and the Vinyl Institute. The Responsible Care program is structured around a set of specific Health, Environment and Safety metrics with performance goals that are often more stringent than corresponding government requirements, and verifies conformance through internal and external audits. Responsible Care companies adhere to the following program requirements: implementation of management systems that are verified by independent auditors; tracking of performance through established Health, Environment and Safety measures; minimization of emissions and waste and the conservation of energy and natural resources; and the extension of best practices to contractors and business partners.
Resource conservation and pollution prevention are key tenets of OxyChem's Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HES&S) Philosophy and Principles, as well as the ACC Responsible Care® Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Employees at OxyChem plants regularly participate in community advisory panels with neighboring communities to discuss facility operations and HES improvements and performance. OxyChem's headquarters and facilities have been certified by an independent, accredited auditor to meet the ACC's Responsible Care Management System standards (RCMS®: 2008). These require periodic assessments and the review of product safety and handling with customers, including site visits as warranted.
OxyChem complies with government regulations designed to assess product safety, such as the EPA's pesticide product registration program. OxyChem also participates in voluntary initiatives, including the EPA's High Production Volume Challenge Program and Voluntary Children's Chemical Evaluation Program.
OxyChem's product risk assessment process follows the ACC Global Product Strategy, an internationally-recognized system for identifying chemical product information needs. Using this strategy, products are prioritized and evaluated for potential adverse effects. Risk-reduction practices, such as identifying appropriate personal protective equipment for use when handling the product and providing additional technical support for customers, are then implemented as appropriate for minimizing potential effects. OxyChem promotes the safe use and handling of its products by providing product-specific information to customers, such as Safety Data Sheets (SDS), handbooks, videos and product technical data.
OxyChem assesses the health and safety of its products periodically through its product stewardship program. OxyChem's customer and technical service departments provide information and support to customers on the safe and environmentally responsible handling and use of its products. Under its Responsible Care program and ISO 9000 certification, OxyChem surveys its customers annually, reviews the results of these surveys, and identifies opportunities to improve products and services.
In accordance with U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements, SDS have been prepared for all OxyChem products and are routinely provided to customers. The data sheets provide comprehensive product information, including chemical composition, use of personal protective equipment, instructions for safe handling, and environmental and health information.
In addition, all OxyChem products transported in drums and other non-rail or trailer containers are labeled with product information that follows the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines, as well as applicable regulations. Railcars and tank trailers are placarded with appropriate hazard warnings, and hazard information is provided to the transporter.
In 2013, OxyChem did not receive any allegations of non-compliance with agency regulations regarding the marketing or advertising of its current products, or with health and safety regulations applicable to the product labeling and stewardship of its current products.
OxyChem product advertisements and promotional materials are based on information from technical study reports. Marketing communications, including advertising, promotion and sponsorship, are reviewed by OxyChem for compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
OxyChem maintains an electronic database of SDS for products imported, exported or sold by OxyChem, as well as for chemicals used by OxyChem as raw materials in its manufacturing plants. SDS are updated regularly and available to the public through the
SDS Search page on OxyChem's website or by request.
OxyChem product labels provide information in accordance with applicable industry and regulatory standards, including American National Standards Institute (ANSI), EPA, OSHA and International Hazard Communication requirements. Product information includes hazard warnings, precautions, first aid, safe transport, storage and handling, as well as health and environmental information.
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
The Toxic Substances Control Act regulates the manufacture, processing, import, export, use, and disposal of certain new and existing chemical substances. A person manufacturing or importing a new substance not on the TSCA inventory must provide prior notice to the EPA. OxyChem's Product Stewardship initiatives and its environmental and new chemical development professionals manage corporate compliance with TSCA requirements.
International Product Regulations
OxyChem monitors international regulations to ensure that OxyChem continues to provide relevant and required health and safety information to its customers. Regulations may include notification requirements relating to the physical properties, toxicology, environmental characteristics, use, handling, and safe management of our products.
The European Union's (EU) REACH regulation, which stands for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, requires that chemical substances produced in or imported into the EU in quantities greater than one ton per year be registered with the European Chemicals Agency.
OxyChem, together with its European affiliate Occidental Chemical Belgium BVBA, implements REACH for OxyChem and INDSPEC Chemical Corporation products through the joint registration with other manufacturers and importers of covered products imported directly to the EU, and the maintenance of up-to-date information on those products including (i) the identity of the EU importer covered by the registration, (ii) the quantities imported and (iii) downstream uses.
Superfund Amendments & Reauthorization Act (SARA) Tier II Reporting
In response to the SARA Title III Community Right-to-Know Act, OxyChem maintains a database of hazardous chemicals at each facility. Stored information includes on-site quantities of products and specific site location. OxyChem's HES staff gathers and verifies the Tier II information and transmits facility-specific reports to the appropriate regulatory agencies. The database also includes Hazardous Material Identification System (HMIS) ratings for products, intermediates and waste materials. This information is used in support of labeling for process vessels and other chemical containers and by first responders in the event of a chemical release.
Emergency Response Guidelines and Exposure Guidelines
OxyChem has developed chemical exposure guidelines for protecting people and the environment in the event of a chemical release emergency involving OxyChem's products. The guidelines outline appropriate actions to take at various levels of potential exposure in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements of EPA, OSHA and other governmental agencies.