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Industry Watch.

Chemicals: Estimates put merchant sales of pharmaceutical fine chemicals at $22 billion in 1999, with annual growth of 7% to 8% until 2004, according to Arthur D. Little International. Fine chemicals classified as basic building blocks grew by 3% for $3-$4 billion in annual sales, while advanced intermediates grew at over 10% to achieve annual sales of $6 billion. Standard bulk active compounds generated $12 billion in sales, growing at a annual rate of 5%-6%. Process development services were valued at $500 million with annual growth of 15%.

Source: Chemical & Engineering News

Food & Beverage: Under a new proposal for pesticide residue testing , the EPA will have increased regulatory authority. Recent changes have already resulted in the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs using higher standards in evaluating maximum residue allowances and reassessing tolerances based on factors such as special protection for children, aggregate risk, and cumulative effects. Also, the EPA will be required to institute an endocrine disrupter testing program. However, many labs are currently unable to screen for new lower levels and higher specificity due to differing calibration standards, inadequate extraction techniques, and the lack of maintenance of analytical equipment.

Source: Food Product Design

Steel: According to World Steel Dynamics, the outlook for the world steel industry is bright. After a drop in demand sparked by the Asian crisis in 1997, both demand and prices have risen this year due to increases in global economic activity, Japan's capital spending, China's industrial activity and European business confidence. In the first quarter, global steel consumption showed a year-on-year increase of 3.8%. In March, steel production was at 97% of total capacity. Although growth rates are expected to slow by year's end, the strong demand for steel should continue for the next eighteen months.

Source: Financial Times

Genetics: The National Human Genome Research Institute and SNP Consortium are funding a new effort to identify and map single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are used to identify the genetic variations responsible for disease predisposition. The project expects to identify and map 750,000 SNPs. The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Washington University School of Medicine and the Sanger Centre are collaborating on the project. The effort will also aid in completing the finalized version of the human genome, which is expected to be finished in 2003.

Source: Associated Press

Water: The EPA's latest proposal for the Ground Water Rule, which will be finalized in the fall, will increase the monitoring and disinfection of drinking water that comes from underground sources, excluding private wells. The rule requires system sanitary surveys, hydrogeologic sensitivity assessments, source water microbial monitoring, compliance monitoring and corrective action. According to the Centers for Disease Control, source water contamination accounted for 86% of the ground water associated waterborne disease outbreaks between 1971 and 1996.

Source: WaterWorld
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Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 15, 2000
Words:466
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