Chemical Industries Association

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CIA London offices, Kings Building, Smith Square


The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) is the largest organisation that represents chemical and pharmaceutical businesses throughout the UK. It both lobbies to influence government policy on behalf of the chemical industry, and provides advice and services to the industry.[1] Chemicals manufacturing in the UK is largely concentrated in the northern regions of the UK and Scotland, in four key chemical clusters and are represented locally by Cluster Teams. In Scotland by Chemicals Team Scotland, Northwest England represented by Chemicals Northwest, Northeast England represented by the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) and in Yorkshire and Humber by Yorkshire Chemical Focus and Humber Chemical Focus.[2]

The CIA owns and supports Chemicals Northwest.[3]

Fracking 'mythbuster'

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

Unconventional gas 'offers a vital new source of raw materials for chemical products' according to the association so it's not surprising the industry has got behind the push to educate the public on its virtues. In 2014 it published a four-page pamphlet 'Shale Gas: The facts'[4] which contains statements such as:

  • Seismic activity from fracking is equivalent to background motion caused by vehicles
  • Each well’s total water use is equivalent to that used on a golf course in a month
  • Fracking takes place at sufficient distance from groundwater and surface activities are regulated
  • Once a well is bored the well pad will have a visually low impact
  • Use of chemicals is permitted on a well by well basis and subject to public disclosure
  • Gas will underpin intermittent renewables like wind power
  • Carbon emissions from UK shale gas will be comparable to conventional gas [5]

'Opinion-former' video

A two-minute 45-second video purporting to 'bust the myths around fracking' released by the CIA can be found on the website. On the issue of potential groundwater contamination caused by chemicals used in the fracking process CIA's interviewee 'scientist' said:

This is unlikely as the process is strictly policed and chemicals are only used initially to open the well. Chemicals are in such low concentrations that the fracturing mixture is more than 99 per cent sand and water.


Hydrochloric acid is found in toilet cleaners at concentration 100 times higher than what’s used in fracking! :The chemical industry works closely with customers in selecting fracking chemicals. [6]

Meetings with ministers

In January 2013 CIA met with Lord de Mauley, parliamentary under-secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to discuss the UK’s chemical industry and the implementation of REACH. It met with him again in March 2013 as part of a wider 'UK chemicals stakeholders forum'. [7]

In November 2013 CIA met with BIS minister Michael Fallon as part of a group 'to discuss chemical industries'. The group included Contract Chemicals, Chemical Industries Association, Huntsman, Synthomer, European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), Dow, Thomas Swan and Company, Croda, Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V., Solvay, Growhow, Ineos, BASF. [8]




Kings Buildings,
Smith Square,
Telephone: 020 7834 3399
Fax: 020 7834 4469


  1. About CIA, CIA website. Accessed 17/10/13.
  2. Chemicals - the UK Advantage, UK Trade & Investment, p. 29. Accessed on 17/10/13.
  3. Welcome, Chemicals Northwest website. Accessed on 17/10/13.
  4. [ "Shale Gas: The Facts" – Chemical Industries Association publishes its findings], Pinsent and Masons, Media section, 20 November 2013, accessed 5 November 2014
  5. [Shale Gas: The facts, undated document , accessed 5 November 2014
  6. Busting the myths around fracking,, March 2014, accessed November 2014
  7. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, January to March 2013 MEETINGS WITH EXTERNAL ORGANISATIONS (INCLUDING MEETINGS WITH NEWSPAPER AND OTHER MEDIA PROPRIETORS, EDITORS AND SENIOR EXECUTIVES,Lord de Mauley, accessed 6 November 2014
  8. Transparency data BIS ministerial meetings: October to December 2013, Published May 2014, acc 6 November 2013
  9. Photos and biographies, CIA website. Accessed on 17/10/13.
  10. Data from Internet Archive holdings of the Science Media Centre website, 2002-2013.