Launch of the Health and Chemical Safety Department
The SOCOTEC Group, a leader in risk management throughout the life cycle of buildings and equipment, is strengthening its position in the expertise and management of chemical and biological risks to human health and to the environment.
In a fast growing regulatory context and high societal expectations in France and in Europe concerning chemical and industrial risks, the SOCOTEC group is strengthening its Health and Product Risks Division, which becomes the "Health and Chemical Safety" department.
Nearly 15 experts in chemistry, industrial hygiene, toxicology, eco-toxicology, pharmacy and medicine are working together for major French and international companies, within the SOCOTEC group's Environment activity, which represents 450 experts in total.
With the launch of the Health and Chemical Safety (HCS) Department of the SOCOTEC Group, specialised services are offered to major national and international companies, by the HCS experts: physicians, toxicologists, chemists, engineers and hygienists, all working within the same department in order to strengthen the capacity to deal with clients’ strategic, complex and multi-disciplinary issues that are often deployed over several years.
The Health and Chemical Safety (HCS) Department offers 4 areas of expertise:
- Manufacturing, imports and go-to-market of chemical products in Europe are governed by increasingly stringent regulations (see Chemical Strategy for Sustainability). The HCS Regulatory Affairs unit supports its clients on several European regulations (REACH, CLP, Biocides, Waste, Water, Medical Devices, RoHS...) in relation to their compliance and anticipation strategy integrating future regulatory developments. This department has an excellent knowledge of European and international bodies and regulations.
- The HCS Strategy & Policy unit working with national and European authorities, can provide support to companies and/or professional federations that may be affected by significant regulatory changes requiring specific technical and scientific expertise.
- The HCS Risk Assessment unit assesses health risks (workers, people living near industrial sites or construction sites, consumers) and environmental risks related to occupational exposure or indoor/outdoor air quality. More generally, this department carries out technical, scientific and regulatory assessments in relation to complex situations of exposure to chemicals and/or environmental pollution associated with major issues, for example: formal notice of default, occupational diseases, crisis situations, (pre-)litigation procedures, audits of the product portfolio during a company acquisition process or assessments of past exposure (due diligence).
- Finally, the HCS Toxicology unit assesses the toxicity of products, both on human health and on the environment, and defines the safe use before they are placed on the market. It also applies its expertise to characterise hazards and risks in situations where people and the environment have been exposed to substances either accidentally or chronically.
Services are offered from regulatory and industrial toxicology and ecotoxicology services, as well as scientific expertise, analysis of emerging risks, and modelling of chemical exposure. The teams propose dual expertise in toxicology: the study of the impact of chemical agents on human health (both for workers, people living near industrial sites and end users of products) and in ecotoxicology: the study of the impact of chemical products on the environment. This expertise is particularly dedicated to the preparation of regulatory compliance files (e.g. REACH) and to supporting R&D projects (research into alternative solutions).
For Patrick Levy, medical doctor and toxicologist, director of the Health and Chemical Safety Department at SOCOTEC Environment: "Since its creation in 2014, our HCS Department has evolved considerably. We have strengthened it in order to support our major industrial clients in all their concerns related to chemical risks. With the 4 fields of expertise at the convergence of health and chemical risks, we now concentrate all the technical-scientific skills in a single entity, which allows our experts to support the national, European and international regulatory compliance and to provide strategic advice to our clients enabling them to anticipate the strengthening of product safety requirements, while taking into account the reality of their business as well as societal expectations. Our international positioning also enables us to support the development of the SOCOTEC group, which has doubled in size in five years, reaching a turnover of €1 billion by the end of 2021, with an international footprint that has grown from 10% to more than 50% today".
He adds: "The HCS Department has the expertise in global watch and regulatory intelligence to provide services ranging from long-term strategy to immediate risk assessments, including compliance with the main regulations relating to chemical substances: REACH, CLP, Biocides, etc. We also work closely with the other activities of SOCOTEC Environment, in particular "Polluted Sites and Soils" and "Metrology (measuring the concentration of pollutants in the air or in any environmental space)".