API's product stewardship activities and programs support the oil and natural gas industry in its commitment to a shared responsibility for the industry's environmental, health and safety performance.
An integral component of API's Product Stewardship Program is API sponsored research. API research is used by API, its member companies and others to protect workers and communities surrounding their facilities, and often by regulatory agencies in their similar efforts.
Ongoing programs include:
High Production Volume (HPV) Chemical Challenge Program
The HPV Challenge Program was developed to gather and publish health and environmental hazard information on the HPV chemicals (defined as those chemicals manufactured in, or imported into, the U.S. in amounts equal to or exceeding 1 million pounds per year) listed by EPA.
The information resulting from this program is now available to the public, fulfilling the commitment of EPA and the chemical and oil and natural gas industries to the public's right to know. A publicly available database is also being developed, and will be filled over the next several years with summaries of existing and new information on the hazardous characteristics of each chemical. With this information, EPA and others will then be able to better characterize the potential for adverse effects on plant, animal, and human health and the environment. EPA has stated that the availability of this information is vitally important to the public so that citizens better understand the chemical hazards in their communities, workplaces, and homes.
Oil and Natural Gas Industry’s Role
In response to EPA’s HPV Challenge Program, the oil and natural gas industry formed the Petroleum HPV Testing Group consortium. API administered the consortium, which is made up of 60 member companies representing 92 percent of the nation’s refinery capacity. The Petroleum HPV Testing Group is pleased to voluntarily sponsor chemicals used or manufactured by our industry.
The consortium facilitated the acquisition of existing information and the development of new data to provide the public with information on the HPV substances generated or imported by the petroleum industry. The Petroleum HPV Testing Group worked in conjunction with EPA, other trade associations, and non-government organizations to meet the HPV challenge, using the best scientific means available.
- For more information on HPV Challenge Program, please visit www.petroleumhpv.org/hpv-challenge.
- For more information on the Petroleum HPV Testing Group, please visit www.petroleumhpv.org.
- For more information on the 211b Research Group, please visit www.211bresearchgroup.org.
Strategic Health Research
API's health research activities and programs support the oil and natural gas industry in its commitment to a shared responsibility for the industry's environmental, health and safety performance. The varied programs that are supported by API research are used by API, its member companies and others to protect workers and communities surrounding their facilities, and are often used by regulatory agencies in their similar efforts.
Hydrogen Sulfide Research
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a naturally occurring substance that may be found in natural gas or crude oil. H2S can also be a by-product that occurs when certain chemical reactions take place (such as in a swamp or an animal’s digestive tract). The oil and natural gas industry takes numerous measures to protect our workers and the general public from any dangers associated with H2S. The odor of H2S is noticeable at very low levels – as little as 1/10,000th of the amount that could pose a significant health risk. But while the smell can be unpleasant, the odor itself is not cause for health concerns.
API has a long-standing interest in the health effects of H2S and has performed a substantial body of research on the subject. A summary of recent research on H2S can be found in Proceedings of the Hydrogen Sulfide Health Research and Risk Assessment Symposium October 31-November 2, 2000, Woodall GM, Smith RL, Granville GC. Inhal Toxicol. 2005 Oct;17(11):593-639.
Benzene is a naturally-occurring constituent of crude oil and a constituent of many petroleum products. Its average concentration in motor gasoline in the United States is on the order of 0.8%. This substance has received much attention from regulatory agencies because benzene has been classified as a known human carcinogen and causes blood disorders (leukemia) in workers exposed to high concentrations. API conducts research on benzene to develop strong scientific information on key benzene risk issues. This data, applicable across all environmental media (air, water and solid waste), has use in risk management and communication, as well as during discussions with government regulators.
API has a long-standing interest in the health effects of benzene and has supported a substantial body of research on the subject. A summary of recent research on benzene can be found in Benzene 2009 - Health Effects and Mechanisms of Bone Marrow Toxicity. Bond JA and Rice JM, Editors. Chem Biol Interact. 2010 March 10; Vol 184, Nos 1-2.
API supports SAICM’s central aim that chemicals should be manufactured, used and managed safely at the international level in an efficient and cost-effective manner. API is contributing to the dialogue by developing industry positions on selective SAICM initiatives, coordinating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others (including the chemical industry), and contributing directly in the SAICM process as an important stakeholder in global chemical management.
This Document presents a summary of how petroleum industry companies develop and distribute Safety Data Sheets (SDSs or MSDSs) for purposes of hazard communication.
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) following its investigation of an explosion at the Barton Solvents distribution facility in Valley Center, Kansas concluded that the most likely cause of the explosion was a static spark resulting from a loosely-linked level-measuring float within the tank.