An ongoing global shortage of a chemical used in inks, disinfectants, cleaning, and many other products shows why manufacturers need backup plans to ensure they can meet their commercial obligations, an attorney told Bloomberg Environment.

“This may well be an illustration of the new normal,” Lynn Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., told Bloomberg Environment by email Aug. 31.

The shortage of a preservative called 1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one, or BIT, also underscores why chemical manufacturers need...