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SEA members contribute to world-leading research

Those who work in the surface engineering industry, and especially those who carry out electroplating processes, will already know about the short and long-term effects of substances of very high concern (SVHC).

The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulations were introduced to restrict the use of certain chemicals in the European Union. Included in REACH were many substances used within the surface engineering sector such as chromium trioxide and hexavalent chromium compounds

It is widely known that the use of these chemicals/compounds means that workers who are over exposed to them risk serious health effects including cancer, asthma and dermatitis.

The SEA and the HSE, as well as 53 electroplating companies based in the UK, were involved in three years of research. The aim of this was to investigate as to whether repeated biological monitoring over time would be able to drive improvements in exposure control in the electroplating industry.

SEA members were given the opportunity to be involved in this vital research project. It was important that members, both involved in electroplating and who use these chemicals in their processes, were involved in a research project that could have a significant impact on chemical use in the surface engineering industry. Those companies who did take part were asked to submit regular data and samples to support this research.

Biological monitoring, air monitoring and surface and dermal contamination were continually monitored. The project scope, results, statistical analysis, discussion points and the study’s conclusions have been published in a document titled, “The use of bio-monitoring to assess exposure in the electroplating industry”, which can be downloaded here.

The conclusion drawn was that the exposure to SVHC occurred “via a combination of inhalation, dermal and ingestion routes.” With the introduction of precautionary measures and the design of exposure control strategies, many of the risks could be easily and cost-effectively eliminated or controlled.

If you would like to discuss any of the findings with our team, please contact us, or you can read the full report here.

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  18. Surface Finishing
  19. The Surface Engineering Association
  20. Surface Finishing Legislation
  21. REACH Regulations
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  23. COSHH Regulations
  24. Surface Finishing Industry Association
  25. Electroplating Chemicals
  26. Trade Associations
  27. REACH Compliance
  28. The Surface Finishing Industry
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  30. The Aims of the Climate Change Agreement
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  33. The Future Of Plated Plastics
  34. D-Day For Chromium Trioxide?
  35. Meet the 2016 Award Winners
  36. The Horizon 2020 Project
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  39. Importance of Membership
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  41. The Importance of Networking Events
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