Chlorine and safe workers

WORKER SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT IN EVERY ASPECT OF CHLORINE PRODUCTION.

Safety starts with people. Workers receive extensive training on how to safely manage all chemicals and compounds in the chlorine process. They wear effective personal protective equipment and undergo constant medical monitoring. With these measures in place, a known hazard like asbestos can be safe for workers if it is kept in a sealed and secure system.

Manufacturing facilities have precisely planned processes with rigorous safeguards. Vacuum containers and personal protective equipment ensure workers never come into direct contact with asbestos. Materials are kept in restricted areas, whose access is limited to highly-trained employees. Companies are committed to responsible stewardship of their workers, the environment, and their communities.

Strict regulations, both federal and provincial, govern the full lifecycle: including the shipping, handling, and disposal of asbestos.

Stewardship
through the lifecycle

Shipping

Asbestos is shipped to Canada encased in heavy duty wrap and placed in sealed shipping containers.

Safety Measures include:

  • Multiple inspections
  • Strict protocols for damaged
  • Container only opened at specialized facility

Storage

Material is stored in isolated, enclosed areas with extensive signage

Safety Measures include:

  • Restricted access
  • High efficiency air filters
  • Frequent inspections

Handling

Strict measures are enforced when preparing asbestos for use.

Safety Measures include:

  • Bags opened in vacuum sealed compartment with secure gloves
  • Personnel wear protective suits and respirator hoods
  • Takes place in secure, restricted access area

Diaphragm

Asbestos is applied to a metal screen to help extract chlorine from salt.

Safety Measures include:

  • Mixed into liquid within vacuum vented enclosed system
  • Restricted area, protective equipment required
  • Placed in sealed cells before use

Disposal

All asbestos waste is disposed of according to strict regulations.

Safety Measures include:

  • Removed from mesh in enclosed area
  • Wastewater filtered before being treated
  • All waste and contaminated equipment placed in sealed heavy plastic

FAQ

Where does chlorine come from?

Chlorine is element 17 on the periodic table. It is very reactive, so it is usually found bonded with other elements in various compounds. The most common and familiar one is table salt.

In the production of chlorine, are workers exposed to unmitigated asbestos risk?

No. Between vacuum compartments, high efficiency filters, and personal protective equipment, workers are never exposed to asbestos.

How is chlorine transported safely?

The most widely used mode of transportation is by rail, which is generally considered safer than shipping by truck or by sea. However, transporting chemicals is the riskiest part of the industrial process. Having a facility as close as possible to where it’s needed reduces the time these materials spend in transit.

Where does asbestos come from?

Asbestos is an inorganic mineral that naturally occurs in the earth’s crust.

Is asbestos released into the environment?

Asbestos has only one use in the chlorine industry, as a lining on a membrane in a sealed cell. It is only stored in secured, restricted access rooms. Any time personnel are near, they are wearing protective equipment, and the material is only handled and processed in contained environments.

What else is produced in the chlorine manufacturing process?

Sodium hydroxide, or caustic soda, is a useful industrial compound that is also produced when making chlorine. It is used in making pulp and paper, textiles, and detergents.

How many people work in the chlorine industry

In the Trois-Rivières area, 400 people are directly or indirectly employed by the chlorine industry.

Is chlorine beneficial to human health?

Chlorine’s uses as a disinfectant make it a net positive contributor to health and safety.