Irritants create a pattern of localized inflammation on the skin which is often referred to as dermatitis. This condition occurs when the body tries to react to a localized injury of specific tissues. It can occur at any time, but if it happens to an individual while they are working, then it is referred to as an occupational irritant.
Severe dermatitis or contact with chemicals can result in scales, blisters, or crusts forming on the skin. The symptoms do not always occur at the same time, nor does it occur in all cases. Anything that is irritating to the skin, such as acids, bases, or even solvents that dissolve fats, will qualify as a product that is produced by the irritant industry.
Despite what the products may do to this skin, these irritants are part of the overall chemical industry in the world today, which is one of the most essential that is currently active. The chemical output value in the United States, including pharmaceuticals, was more than $765 billion in 2017. The value added to the U.S. economy was more than $354 billion.
Interesting Irritant Industry Statistics
#1. Chemical industries in the United States are among the world’s leaders for the production of irritants and chemicals. DowDuPont is the largest company of its type in the world, second only to BASF in Germany, and it earns revenues of $53.5 billion each year. (Statista)
#2. The United States ranks second (behind Germany) for exporting chemical goods. The value of 2017’s exports was $130 billion, with most of the products shipped to the Asia-Pacific region by the industry. (Statista)
#3. There are high levels of irritant and chemical imports for the United States as well, with over $93 billion in products purchased to fulfill industry needs during the year. (Statista)
#4. About 811,000 people are currently employed by the irritant and chemical producing companies of the United States, which is a number that is significantly lower than the 1990s, when over 1 million people were gainfully employed by the industry. (Statista)
#5. The average hourly wage of someone working in the irritant and chemical industry in the U.S. is $23.47 per hour, with the average worker putting in 42.6 hours per week. (Statista)
#6. Roughly $91 billion was spent for research and development purposes in the chemical industry in 2016, which means the figure has almost doubled from the amount spent on R&D in 2010. That makes the U.S. the global leader in the development of new chemical entities, including irritants and pharmaceuticals. (Statista)
#7. The global chemical industry took a sharp dive in revenues for the 2017 year, falling from $5.19 trillion in 2016 to $4.25 trillion in 2017. That is still far higher than what the industry achieved in 2012, however, when it generated $1.78 billion. (Statista)
#8. The BRICS countries of the world (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) account for more than 44% of global chemical sales each year. When this segment combines with the United States and Europe, they generate roughly 75% of all sales of irritants, chemicals, and similar products. (CEFIC)
#9. Through sales alone, China dominates the irritants and chemical industry each year, responsible for roughly $1.5 trillion on their own. Europe comes in second with roughly $745 billion, while the United States comes in third. (CEFIC)
#10. 12 of the top 30 producers of chemicals and irritants in the world today are based in Europe, while five of them are in the United States. (CEFIC)
#11. 27.4% of the irritants and chemicals sold in Europe are specialty products, including crop protection items, paints, ink, and industry auxiliary items. 26.9% of the sales are related to petrochemicals, followed by 20.5% which are polymers. (CEFIC)
#12. Over 80% of the chemicals and irritants purchased in Europe each year are generated by just 7 member states of the EU-28. Germany on its own accounts for roughly 29% of all sales, with France coming in second with 13.6% of the market. (CEFIC)
#13. Almost two-thirds of the irritants and chemicals purchased are used in the industrial sector, with rubber and plastics leading the way at 13.9% of total sales. (CEFIC)
#14. The unemployment rate found in the chemical and irritant sector in the United States is just 3.3% as for December 2018. Over 843,000 employees are currently involved in the creation of chemical products in the United States in some way. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
#15. The average salary of someone working in a chemistry-related position within the industry earns an average wage of approximately $80,000 per year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
#16. Over 95% of all manufactured products in the world today rely on chemistry that the irritant industry produces each year. (Chemistry Industry Association of Canada)
#17. More than 87,000 jobs are directly available in Canada each year thanks to the production of chemical products, along with another 525,000 indirect positions. (Chemistry Industry Association of Canada)
#18. Over $53 billion in shipments of Canadian products occurred for the global irritant industry in 2016. (Chemistry Industry Association of Canada)
#19. The chemical, irritant, and petrochemical industries account for 10% of the world’s total energy demand each year, producing upwards of 7% of the known greenhouse gases released annually. Over 80% of these emissions come from the feedstock extraction or manufacturing process. (Chemistry Industry Association of Canada)
#20. In Canada, the irritant industry, in all of its pats, accounts for just 2% of the greenhouse gas inventory.
Irritant Industry Trends and Analysis
The value of global chemical production is surging, with total output growing by 84% between 2000-2010 thanks to emerging economy producers ramping up their production. China has contributed significantly to this growth, as they are responsible for about 65% of the total increase. That means the developed economies of the world will reach a total value in the production of irritants and chemicals of approximately $2.6 trillion.
The emerging economies are going to contribute another $3.1 trillion in global chemical production annually – a level that could be reached as soon as 2020. When that occurs, it will be the first time that this segment overtakes the revenues generated by North America, Europe, and Japan.
What holds this industry back from its full potential is the lack of a highly skilled workforce. Only 7% of the workers in China who are involved in chemical and irritant production have received tertiary education. Workers in the United States are considered highly skilled at a rate of 45%.
With wages increasing around the world in virtually all major and rising irritant and chemical producers, the irritant industry is poised to continue producing needed products that people all over the world require.
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