Substitution of carcinogenic and neurotoxic solvents used in tanning


This case study considers a good practice example from a footwear manufacturing company in Spain. It demonstrates how substituting dangerous substances for less dangerous ones can greatly improve the safety and health of workers and the importance of training and worker consultation.

The case study relates the story of a 25-year-old female worker whose health was badly affected by exposure to hazardous solvents at work. Following this and other serious incidents, the company, working with safety and health experts, authorities and union representatives, implemented appropriate training, substitution of solvents, and introduced additional technical measures to reduce workers’ exposure to harmful solvents.

The company also altered the production process and purchased pretreated leather to eliminate a hazardous work procedure.

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