Workers Launch Hazardous Chemicals Database

Workers often ask, "Can this chemical affect my health?" and "Are there safer alternatives?" Now those answers are available at the touch of a button.

The newly launched Chemical Hazard and Alternatives Toolkit, or ChemHAT, database allows workers to quickly look up the risks of exposure for 10,000 commonly-used chemicals. The free online tool identifies how workers commonly come in contact with the potentially hazardous materials, safety precautions and alternative solutions.

"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," said IUE-CWA President Jim Clark. "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 in consultation with 130 rank-and-file union members — represented by CWA, IUE-CWA, United Steelworkers and UAW — who deal with chemicals every day.

"ChemHAT is exactly what we need to make sure we can easily get the knowledge we need to be safe on the job," said Ernest Pacheco, CWA District 9's energy/environmental program coordinator. "Perhaps even more importantly — especially in light of our inadequate current toxics regulations — is that it helps to reframe the issue to what it should have been for decades now to: 'What should we be using instead of this dangerous chemical?'"

Representatives of the IUE-CWA, BlueGreen Alliance and the ChemHAT Working Group will be holding a webinar on Sept. 25 at 12:30 p.m. ET. To learn more about how to use this new database, register here.