10 years working

The third of July 2000 I started my first formal job. Ten years later, I was remembering all different things I was doing during this time. The result? this picture.

For sure this picture is too simple, but I can remember how difficult was to jump from one black point to the other. The other thing I remember with more or less proud is some difficult decisions I had to take during these 10 years.

Let’s see what will happen during these coming 10 years,

ECETOC, European Centre for Ecotoxicology and toxicology of chemicals

Original information http://www.ecetoc.org/overview

What is ECETOC?

ECETOC is a scientific, non-profit making, non-commercial trade association with a mission to act as an independent, credible, peer-reviewed technical resource to all concerned with the identification of research needs and provision of scientific rationale for the assessment of health effects and environmental impact, and thereby to justify industry’s licence and freedom to operate.

How is it financed?
ECETOC is financed by its membership, which comprises 49 of the leading companies with interests in the manufacture and use of chemicals.

Some companies: AzkoNobel, Arkema, BASF, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, BP, Cepsa, Ciba, Clariant, Coca Cola, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Exxon mobil, Roche, Henkel, Merck, Nestle, Novartis, Repsol, Shell Chemical, Total…

Full list of member’s companies

Why was it established?
An independent organisation, it was established in 1978 to provide a scientific forum through which the extensive specialist expertise of manufacturers and users could be harnessed to research, review, assess and publish studies on the ecotoxicology and toxicology of chemicals. In pursuing its vision, the Association’s main objective is to identify, evaluate and through such knowledge help industry to minimise any potentially adverse effects on health and the environment that may arise from the manufacture and use of chemicals.

How does ECETOC achieve its goals?
To achieve its goals, ECETOC facilitates the networking of suitably qualified scientists from its member companies and co-operates in a scientific context with intergovernmental agencies , health authorities and professional institutions.
ECETOC’s work is manifested as published reports, papers and specialised workshops. Furthermore, it provides scientific representation of manufacturers and users of chemicals via presentations at specialist fora and takes a scientific role in the activities of international organisations and regulatory groups.

More specifically, ECETOC achieves its goals by:

  • Promoting the use of sound science in both industry and regulatory decision-making and reporting on the results;
  • Providing a forum for regulators, academic and industrial scientists for the evaluation of the safe use of chemicals and their associated products;
  • Contributing to understanding of the societal issues associated with health assessment and environmental safety of substances;
  • Ensuring the value of the ECETOC offer is appreciated by business and regulatory decision makers;
  • Identify emerging issues that are of importance to ECETOC member companies.

To be the leading European health and environmental sciences organisation enabling the safe manufacture, handling and use of chemicals, biomaterials and pharmaceuticals.

To promote the use of good science in human and environmental risk assessment of chemicals, biomaterials and pharmaceuticals.

Out of the office messages

These messages uses to contain different data: when they will return, mobile numbers…

Some of them include the point of contacts you need in case you need to perform some activity related to the person you have sent the e-mail.

You can spend a year trying to understand the way that some teams really work, how the different activities are shared obtaining nothing as result.

Summer arrives, those “stoppers” go on holidays and let the “out of scope” full of interesting information.

Funny, isn’t it?

CHESAR, CHEmical Safety Assessment and Reporting tool

Original link http://chesar.echa.europa.eu/home

Chesar is a tool developed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which aims to help companies carry out their Chemical Safety Assessments (CSA) and prepare their Chemical Safety Reports (CSR).

For this purpose the principles relating to chemical safety assessments as described in the “Guidance on Information Requirements and Chemical Safety Assessment” (available on the ECHA website: http://guidance.echa.europa.eu/guidance_en.htm ) have been converted into an IT application.

Chesar provides the structured workflow for carrying out a standard safety assessment for the different uses of a substance . At the same time, the tool is flexible enough to also accommodate assessments in more specific situations. The tool also helps to structure the information needed for the exposure assessment and risk characterisation which will facilitate the generation and updating of a transparent CSR.

Based on these inputs the tool calculates exposure estimates that are compared to the predicted no-effect levels. The purpose of this comparison is to determine whether safe use of a substance can be established. Workers’ exposure estimations provided by Chesar are calculated using the “ECETOC TRA worker” tool (available on http://www.ecetoc.org/tra ). Environmental exposure estimates provided by Chesar are based on the EUSES 2.1 fate model (see below).

Chesar also supports the use of other exposure estimation tools or measured data (has they defined a way to import data exposure?).

Chesar enables re-use of assessments already carried out by the registrant or prepared by industry associations via its data exchange functionality. This functionality supports cross-industry standardisation of the description of uses and of the safe conditions of use.

Technical data:

  • Chesar works as a plug-in to IUCLID 5.2.
  • CHESAR 1.0 does not yet generate a full CSR or the Exposure Scenarios for the extended Safety Data Sheets.
  • Chesar 1.0 is only available for the stand-alone version of IUCLID 5.2.
  • The first upgrade of Chesar including the full CSR generation functionality and the capacity for use with the distributed version of IUCLID 5.2 is planned to be available in July 2010.

EUSES -> European Union System for the Evaluation of Substances.

Open source Vs non critical applications

For the critical applications of a portfolio, you usually have a clear strategy at short, medium and long term. Clear strategy and probably an assigned budget aligned with the needs.

For those non-critical applications you have in the portfolio the solution is not always good, standard, cheap or simple.

You probably have a set of different applications for different purposes that were created or bought to cover a business process as necessary as others, but that was out of this set of key applications that have assigned budget.

A lot of people face this scenario.

Now a cheap alternative seems to be possible with the open source solutions. You can find proven open source applications that covers all these functionalities in a standard way:

  • Covering standard processes (ITIL, SAS 70),
  • Offering a set of standard end user features (),
  • Web 2.0 based,
  • That you can adapt to different environments

Virtual environments help on the use of these applications due to the TCO of an environment just for an unique application has been reduced a lot.

Is this a good strategy?

I don’t know, but since the IT budgets has been reduced during these 2 years but business needs continue there, and this alternative is at least a valid interim solution.

Reach roadmap

We have developed an IT solution to manage some business processes to be Reach compliance.

These processes are related to:

  • Substance Volume Tracking, for the calculation of the volumes to be registered by substance,
  • Substance ID management, that allow the chemist guys to establish the % of substance for a raw material,
  • Suppliers communications, that handles the relationship between a supplier and Raw Material. It allows to determine the codes of UEW to be handled.

There are some document management needs for Reach, but they still are a little bit far away. We have the CSAs and CSRs.

  • For CSA, I don’t know where it comes from, but it’s supposed that this assessment is added to the CSR.
  • For CSR, there are some information that comes from the UEW for each substance.
  • It’s not clear how they are managing the UEW activities from the suppliers, so it would be one of the first steps…

In summary, I need to spend some days reading / investigating what is the next immediate need of my client in terms of IT to automate more Reach processes.