Open Mobile Menu

Chemical Management

Environmentally conscious chemical management in the supply chain requires protecting workers’ health and the mitigation of environmental impacts through responsible business and due diligence practices.

The electronics industry has made significant progress in identifying, characterizing, prioritizing, reducing, and ultimately eliminating many harmful chemicals from its products. With considerable success addressing product-related chemicals, the industry has expanded its attention to manufacturing process chemicals in the supply chain to better protect the health of workers and their communities. Responsible chemical management across the value chain requires holistic and systematic management of chemical safety risks, including facility-level environmental, health and safety practices with a greater focus on hazard identification, worker engagement, and occupational health.

Chemical Management Workgroup
To further address the ongoing challenge of reducing risks and protecting workers in the electronics supply chain, the RBA has made chemical management a priority issue. Members collaborate on solutions through the Chemical Management Workgroup and encourage adoption of proven quality management systems. The workgroup also strives to improve visibility and communication within supply chains and among stakeholders to bring attention to each chemical’s potential hazards and requirements for safe use, handling and disposal. The Chemical Management Workgroup has helped the RBA to:

  • Increase member awareness and involvement in the safe use of chemicals
  • Develop training and capability-building activities to reduce worker exposure, such as online training courses on effective chemical management and fact sheets for workers and managers on product and workstation cleaning, plating and etching, bonding and gluing, painting, chemical transportation, storage, labeling, and personal protective equipment
  • Define adequate and effective practices for conducting chemical risk assessments, tracking and reporting process chemicals, and communicating with workers.
  • Explore how to phase out hazardous chemicals and pursue safer alternatives, where feasible

All of our chemical management work has benefited from significant feedback from well-respected NGOs and is being conducted in collaboration with civil society organizations. We recognize there is still much work to do around the safe use of chemicals and reducing worker exposure. The RBA and its members are committed to staying the course, working with partners and making meaningful progress on this important issue.

Industry Focus Process Chemical Policy
The RBA introduced a new chemical policy in 2021, including an Industry Focus Process Chemical List (IFPCL), which outlines greater industry scrutiny and the need for the most protective levels of control to be utilized for the most hazardous chemicals.

The policy became effective January 1, 2022 and is operationalized through the Validated Assessment Program (VAP) and Specialty VAP (SVAP) on Chemical Management to prioritize more advanced, permanent and protective levels of control as defined by the Hierarchy of Controls, focusing on isolating or eliminating hazards, for chemicals on the IFPCL list. Learn more about the IFPCL Policy here.

triangle graphic