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Chlor-alkali chemistry is essential to help achieve many of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 SDGs are at the heart of global efforts to build a better world for people and our planet by 2030. Adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, the SDGs are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity whilst protecting the environment. As such, the World Chlorine Council (WCC), has prepared a new report that details how its members, and chlor-alkali chemistry in general, help to meet these important targets.
The new report discusses which SDGs are supported by chlor-alkali (chlorine and caustic soda/ potash) chemistry and is available from the WCC website. Further details can also be found at https://worldchlorine.org/sustainability/.
The WCC brings chlor-alkali experts together from around the globe to discuss, partner, and further global progress toward sustainability and achieve the SDGs, among many other topics.
The 2019-2020 Chlor-alkali Industry Review has just been launched at https://chlorineindustryreview.com/ . This publication, first produced more than 25 years ago, covers the most important industry information from the past year with key stories, updates and figures on the topics of Safety, Competitiveness, Climate & The Environment, Product News, Collaboration and Outreach and Communications.
As in previous years, a summarised version of the review is also available in print version that has been sent by post to all Euro Chlor members and partners, will be distributed at key events and can be downloaded as a PDF from the bottom of https://chlorineindustryreview.com/.
For more information, contact Euro Chlor Communications Manager Catherine Birkner at cab [at] cefic.be.
During this time of COVID-19 restrictions, as everyone is finding new ways to connect and learn virtually, the Chlorine Institute (CI) has several prerecorded webinars available on its website which cover chlorine emergency response. While CI is unable to hold emergency response training events at this time, these webinars are free to the public and serve as safety training resources. They include a Chlorine Chemical & Physical Properties Video and a Chlorine Emergency Response Video (also available in Spanish).
Instructor materials for the webinars are also available for people interested in conducting the training themselves with employees, customers or local first responders. In addition, CI has videos covering chlorine emergency response in the CI Bookstore (all are free to stream or download).
Although CI was unable to conduct any in-person training events this year, plans are in progress to hold events next year when it is safe to do so. The CI has a new training flatcar to add to the existing training tank car for future emergency response training.
More recently, it has become clear that there is a need to expand CI’s CHLOREP network. CI is currently taking steps to expand CHLOREP into Mexico so that North America is entirely covered by a group of chlorine producers and re-packagers who can be deployed to respond to chlorine emergencies. With this in mind, CI is translating multiple emergency response resources, such as a First Responder Video, the CHLOREP Handbook and Emergency Response Kit Booklets into Spanish and hosting multiple emergency response webinars in Spanish.
Euro Chlor has just released its “Mid-Century Strategy for a Sustainable Chlor-Alkali Industry (MCS)” that defines what the sector aims to look like by 2050, as well as the direction planned to ensure that this safe, competitive and green European chlor-alkali industry will be here for the benefit of Europe in 2050.
The work started in the run up to Euro Chlor’s third 10-year Sustainability Programme (2021-2030). The outcome was Euro Chlor’s inspiring new vision “Towards a safe, competitive and green European chlor-alkali industry” and mission “to be a safe and competitive supplier of chlor-alkali products and an integral part of Europe’s climate neutral and circular economy transition”. Click here for more details.
Originally planned at Euro Chlor’s Technology Conference last May, the launch of the MCS was postponed to the Association’s Annual General Meeting on 11 September 2020 due to COVID-19. The Technology Conference www.eurochlor2021.org will now be held on 4-6 May 2021 and give an update on the MCS progress.
More information can be found at www.eurochlor.org/mcs, which, along with #eurochlorMCS, will be updated with progress.
The World Chlorine Council has partnered with Andrew Robertson, P.E. of Water Engineers for the Americas to produce a set of three, easy-to-use cistern disinfection posters.
The posters provide simple, pictogram directions for cleaning and disinfecting cisterns, which are vats used to collect and store drinking water in remote areas and developing countries.
The three posters provide stepwise instructions for cleaning and disinfecting cisterns using sodium hypochlorite (bleach), calcium hypochlorite (“HTH”), and sodium dichloroisocyanurate (“NaDCC”), respectively.
Mr. Robertson, who volunteered his time to help develop the posters based on his extensive field experience, stated, “From hurricane relief to COVID, the need for emergency disinfection of household water supplies is now more acute than ever before. The instructional posters provided by the World Chlorine Council provide invaluable guidance to families in need, regardless of what language they speak”.
The posters may be downloaded for free here.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Robertson, P.E.
During these difficult times, chlorine chemistry has been called upon by authorities to help protect people and medical professionals around the world from the SARS-COV-2 ‘Coronavirus’.
The World Health Organisation has recommended using chlorine bleach to disinfect frequently touched surfaces. In addition, products made using chlorine chemistry (e.g. blood bags, medical tubing and face shields) are also helping in the fight against the virus.
To keep people and authorities informed, several useful information sources on COVID-19 are available from our members.
EUROPE – Cefic (European Chemical Association) has an informative map showing how Europe ensures that life-saving products get where they need to go;
INDIA – The Alkali Manufacturers Association of India is showing how chlorine chemistry can protect people from the virus;
NORTH AMERICA – The American Chemistry Council’s Coronavirus Resource Centre lists the efforts made by the US chemical industry to reduce the impact of COVID-19 – including donations of life-saving bleach;
The Chlorine Institute has resources to help keep producers safe and informed;
The Water Quality and Health Council has practical resources on how to safely use chlorine to disinfect homes and hospitals;
SOUTH AMERICA – Abiclor has pages dedicated to efforts in Brazil to use chlorine chemistry to control the virus.
More will be shared here from our members as they become available.
WCC Member, AMAI is running a series of training programmes on “Chlorine Safety and Emergency Preparedness” for local water treatment facilities and municipalities in various Indian states. This initiative aims to help raise awareness on the benefits of chlorine, whilst demonstrating how chlorine can be safely handled, used and what to do in an emergency.
Ms. Harjeet Anand, AMAI Joint Director (Technical) noted that the programme includes classroom training sessions, demonstration of chlorine safety equipment and mock drills for the participants. This is followed by a site visit by AMAI Safety Experts to recommend improvements as necessary. This current project follows on from similar successful programmes on drinking water chlorination and chlorine safety in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Telangana and Goa.
The project is also very timely as it follows from the recent World Water Day (22 March), where AMAI also had activities. Mr. Jayantibhai Patel, AMAI President, noted “We firmly believe the disease burden owing to water borne diseases can be significantly brought down through chlorine disinfection. This also ties in with achievement of [UN] Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and Sanitation for All by 2030.”*
The safe use and handling of chlorine is particularly important at present as the Indian government is recommending chlorine products for the cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, disposal of used infected masks, for sanitation and hygiene in the control of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“AMAI members are making adequate availability of chlorine at all locations to meet the enhanced demand for drinking water disinfection and the Alkali industry is fully committed to supporting the government’s effort”, stated Mr. K. Srinivasan, Secretary General AMAI.
*Firstpost – 24 March 2020
On 12 March 2020, WCC member ACC’s Chlorine Chemistry Division, welcomed 30 students, teachers, and adult volunteers from a nearby school for their annual World Water Day Celebration in the USA.
Held every year on 22 March since 1993, the United Nation’s (UN) World Water Day 2020 focuses attention on the global importance of safe water, which is closely tied to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030.
This year’s World Water Day aims to highlight the link between the impact on water from climate change and the need to use water resources more efficiently. Chlorine chemistry has an essential role in helping here.
The ACC event involved nine to ten year old students from the Capitol Hill Montessori School in Washington DC. Highlights included a presentation of ongoing efforts by World Vision to provide safe drinking water to developing nations around the world, including Ethiopia and Haiti; a student-led discussion of paintings they had made to celebrate World Water Day, and fun water quality and hand-washing experiments.
The day closed with a donation to World Vision from the Chlorine Chemistry Foundation made on behalf of the students by ACC President and CEO Chris Jahn.
Chlorine chemistry is playing a vital role in controlling the outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe. The outbreak of Novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, has been declared a “public health emergency of international concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of 03 February 2020, the WHO estimated that there were 17,238 confirmed cases in China with 361 deaths there and a further 153 confirmed cases in 23 other countries.
The US Centre for Disease Control, CDC, has issued advice to prevent the spread of the virus whose symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
Many public health authorities, such as the one in Belgium, are recommending cleaning all high-touch surfaces, bathrooms and toilets every day, using “a diluted bleach solution or a household disinfectant of 1-part bleach to 99-parts water”.
In addition, chlor-alkali producers from around the world are sending items made using chlorine chemistry to help in the fight against the virus. Medical equipment such as polycarbonate face shields and sterile PVC tubing are protecting emergency personnel and helping people to recover from the virus.
Unfortunately, there are also social media reports suggesting that people drink bleach or chlorine dioxide solutions to ‘cure’ COVID-19. Medical experts from around the world and representatives of the US Food and Drug Administration strongly advise against consuming these chemicals as a treatment or preventative measure to combat COVID-19.
In 2019, the number of cases of the tropical disease known as Dengue fever increased by almost 600% in Brazil. This potentially life-threatening illness can be spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, whose larvae thrive in stagnant, untreated water.
Fortunately, chlorine chemistry can help prevent the spread of these insects. Sodium hypochlorite (or bleach) is very effective in fighting the larvae of Aedes aegypti. This vital chemical is also useful against mosquito that spread the chikungunya and zika diseases and prevent mosquito from spreading.
As such, WCC member Abiclor, the Brazilian chlor-alkali and Derivatives Industry Association, is launching a new campaign to focus on Dengue fever caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and the role chlorine chemistry plays in this fight. To start this project, they have published a video in Portuguese that shows how plants can be cared for to stop them from being a breeding ground for mosquitos. Three other videos will appear soon that will focus on pools, water tanks, drains and toilets which, if untreated, can also be potential homes for mosquito to grow in.
This is the fourth year of work by Abiclor, who have an informative leaflet on the important topic. There are plans to extend the project into other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia and Honduras all have many cases of Dengue fever from mosquito according to the Pan American Health Organisation. Higher temperatures and increases in heavy rains recorded in the region have led to the faster spread of mosquito in Latin America.
This work is very timely as by October 2019 more than 2.7 million cases of dengue had been reported in the region with over 1200 deaths. This is 13% higher than in 2015, when the last outbreak of dengue occurred. Chlor-alkali chemistry plays a vital role in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases