Chemical raw materials are found in just about every consumer product imaginable, and the chemical trade is a global, multibillion dollar enterprise. Everything from the cars we drive to the plastic containers that hold our shampoo, as well as the shampoo itself, and pharmaceuticals have some component that was manufactured from a chemical raw material. There are a number of national and global industry organizations that set chemical production and distribution standards. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets standards for the production of pharmaceutical-grade chemical raw materials.
Current good manufacturing practices (cGMP)
These guidelines are nonbinding best practices set down by the FDA for companies that manufacture bulk pharmaceutical-grade drugs. They are meant to clarify existing regulations and policies.
explains the purpose and practice of the cGMPs initiative.
American Chemical Society (ACS)
A leading society for chemical scholars of all degree levels, the ACS sets standards for determining chemical purity. Many chemical-producing companies adhere to the ACS' methodologies.
United States Pharmacopoeia (USP)
The USP is the standards-setting body for prescription pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications and vitamin supplements in the United States. These rules are meant to ensure the quality, purity and consistency of drugs and dietary supplements.
Renewable raw materials
Renewable raw materials are those derived from crops, as opposed to petroleum or natural gas reserves. The chemical raw materials industry has moved towards manufacturing chemicals from crops as traditional sources have diminished.
High-production volume (HPV) chemicals
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) developed the HPV chemicals initiative to collect data on hazards from chemical-producing plants worldwide.
A reagent is consumed in a chemical reaction, as opposed to a catalyst or solvent, which is not consumed. If a chemical is labeled "reagent-grade" that means it is pure enough to use in a chemical analysis.