Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Consumer Chemical Products and GHS SDS Requirements

Consumer chemical bottles

Do My Products Need a SDS?

Determining which of your consumer chemical products would require a GHS Safety Data Sheet (SDS), can sometimes be difficult and confusing. Which products actually do need to have compliant SDS, can differ depending on which country/region you are in, and how the product is being used.

Canada

In Canada, chemical products that are labeled, packaged, and sold at retail outlets as consumer products, are regulated by the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), and the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations 2001 (CCCR 2001). Examples of ‘retail’ outlets are stores such as Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Rona, and corner gas stations that anyone off the street can walk into and buy chemical products in, etc.

Chemical products, which are intended for use in worksites and not sold at retail outlets, on the other hand, are regulated by the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR, or “WHMIS 2015“). It is the HPA and HPR (WHMIS 2015), where GHS SDS requirements are found, while the CCPSA and CCCR 2001 do not currently contain any SDS requirements at all.

In the HPA, in Part II, Section 12(j) and Schedule 1, CCPSA consumer products are actually excluded from the application of the HPA’s requirements.

What does this exclusion mean?

Keep in mind that the CCPSA and CCCR 2001 do not contain any SDS requirements, while the HPA and HPR (WHMIS 2015) do. As a result of the exclusion in the HPA, the HPA and HPR do not apply to consumer chemical products in Canada. As such, these consumer chemical products do not require SDSs (since SDS requirements are in the HPA and HPR), provided the products are labeled, packaged and sold at retail outlets in accordance with the CCPSA and CCCR 2001.

Legally, the proportion of sales in each of the respective sales markets (consumer vs. workplace), is not relevant. Sales to worksites (e.g. direct to contractors) could be, for example, 90% of the product’s total sales, while sales to retail outlets could constitute only 10% of the product’s total sales. As long as the product is in the same container size in both markets, and the product is labeled/packaged according to consumer rules, and it is available for sale in retail outlets, then the HPR (WHMIS 2015) does not apply. This means GHS SDS are not required, even when the majority of sales are to worksites. Providing GHS SDS is totally optional for a supplier in this case. It’s completely up to the business relationships a company may have with their own customers, on deciding whether or not to provide GHS SDS.

Key points for this exclusion from SDS requirements, however, is whether or not the product container is actually ‘sold at retail outlets’, and the sizes of containers. Consider a company selling one product in two container sizes (for example a 1 quart / 946 mL size and a 5 gallon / 18.9 L size). The 1 quart / 946 mL size is sold in retail outlets such as Home Depot, as well as direct to worksites. The 5 gallon / 18.9 L size, is ONLY being sold direct to worksites and contractors with special licenses, for example. In this case, the customer would require a GHS SDS to accompany the 5 gallon / 18.9 L size, since this container size is NOT sold at retail outlets.

The United States

There is a similar exclusion in the US from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) GHS requirements for consumer products, however, there is a difference in how the consumer product is treated, depending on what the frequency or manner of use of the product is.

Chemical products, which are intended for use in worksites and which are not sold at retail outlets, are regulated by OSHA in the 29CFR 1910.1200 standard for hazard communication (Hazcom 2012). The OSHA Hazcom 2012 standard states that

This section does not apply to:

(ix) Any consumer product … where the employer can show that it is used in the workplace for the purpose intended by the chemical manufacturer or importer of the product, and the use results in a duration and frequency of exposure which is not greater than the range of exposures that could reasonably be experienced by consumers when used for the purpose intended [29 CFR 1910.1200(b)(6)(ix)].

OSHA goes onto provide an example, in the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section of their website, which involves Windex. Windex is commonly used by both retail customers in their homes, as well as, for example, by Janitors who use the products in their workplaces only. If the janitor uses the Windex in exactly the same way the retail customer would at home, and no more frequently than that retail customer would, then there are no OSHA Hazcom 2012 GHS requirements for the product, and a GHS SDS is not required.

But, if that Janitor uses the Windex 5 or 6 days a week for hours at a time each day, this usage is significantly more frequent than how a user at home would use the product. In this case, there would be OSHA Hazcom 2012 requirements and a GHS SDS would be required.

The European Union (EU)

In the EU, REACH [Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals] requires suppliers to provide SDS for certain substances and mixtures. It also states in Title IV, Article 31, Section 4, that:

The safety data sheet need not be supplied where hazardous substances or mixtures offered or sold to the general public are provided with sufficient information to enable users to take the necessary measures as regards the protection of human health, safety and the environment, unless requested by a downstream user or distributor.

The difference here for consumer products (ie., sold to the general public), is that at any time, a downstream user or distributor may request an SDS for a consumer product…and it must be supplied to them. Initially, a supplier could just provide other means of giving sufficient information on the products’ hazards and safe use (e.g. instruction booklets, labels, technical data sheets). But at any time, if requested, an SDS would have to be provided.

For further information

For further information on European and North American regulations, please consult the following website links:

Europe:

https://echa.europa.eu/safety-data-sheets

United States:

https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html

Canada, for workplace products:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/occup-travail/whmis-simdut/index-eng.php

Canada, for consumer product:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/index-eng.php

If you have any questions regarding GHS or consumer product requirements, please contact ICC Compliance Center, Inc. at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).

Airplane Icon
FAA Short Audit Answers

Cargo loading on aircraft

Common Errors When Shipping by Air

At a recent training, the group hosting invited someone from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to come and speak. Throughout the brief discussion, the speaker mentioned things she sees most often while doing site audits. Listed below are a few of the main items. See if you can guess what the officer sees during audits that is not accurate.

  1. Retention of Shipping Papers: In IATA, the retention of documentation is found in Section 8.0.2.2. According to this section the declaration of dangerous goods “must” be maintained for a minimum of 3 months. There are no state or operator variations attached to this section which may be why people get caught. In United States’ variation USG-01 it clearly tells shippers the document must be maintained by not less than 2 years.
    • Error Found: Only 3 months’ worth of documentation can be produced during an audit.
  2. Use of Technical Names: Entries in the blue pages listed with a star (*) symbol tells the shipper a technical name is needed.  Section 4.1.2.1(d) outlines how to determine the name, the number or names, and the type of names allowed. “The technical name must be a recognized chemical or biological name or other name currently used in scientific and technical handbooks, texts and journals. Trade names must not be used.
    • Error Found: The trade name or retail name is listed on the packages and shipping papers.
  3. Classification: The same 9 hazard classes are used in all transport regulations. The classification of materials into those hazard classes is also the same. However, there are some items that are country specific.
    • Error Found: The shipper tried to put an ORM-D package on an air shipment.
    • Error Found: A shipper packaged, marked and labeled a bulk package as Combustible under the DOT regulations and then attempted to send it via air where it is not regulated.
  4. Training Records: There is a very clear listing of what records of training should include. This information is in Section 1.5.5. It includes the employee’s name, the completion month, the name and address of the organization providing the training and some evidence that a test was completed satisfactorily.
    • Error Found: The certificate shown to the auditor had no indication of being tested.
    • Error Found: There was no address for the training organization.
  5. Emergency Response Phone Number: Another country specific requirement found in the state variations for the US is specifics for the emergency response telephone number. In USG-12 is the statement, “… the number must be monitored at all times… .”
    • Error Found: The emergency response number was disconnected and no longer in service.

These are just a few of the incidents noticed by the FAA inspector. The speaker mentioned her team does checks at all times of the day and night. This is not to “catch” you but to ensure hazardous materials/dangerous goods are being properly handled for transport. Interestingly enough, if your site completes a DOT Form 5800.1, a visit from the FAA is likely.

The point is, review your location and process. Just because you haven’t had a visit in a while or had a package refused doesn’t mean you are in the clear. ICC Compliance Centers offers a variety of auditing services. Contact us today to see how we can help you prepare for your next “visit” from the FAA.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
How to Read a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

Hockey Goalie

Safety Data Sheets Defend Your Employees

Chemical Safety in the workplace can be a topic most employers would like to avoid. However, not only is it vital to the employee’s and community’s wellbeing, it is a requirement by law. In comes Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to the rescue! If Chemical safety in the workplace was a hockey team, training, storage requirements, purchasing, disposal, and inventory requirements would make up the Center, Forwards, and Defense, leaving the cornerstone of any hockey team, the Goalie to represent Safety Data Sheets (SDS). OSHA Standard 1910.1200 (g)(8) states that The employer shall maintain in the workplace copies of the required safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical, and shall ensure that they are readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work area(s). However without correct understanding of Safety Data Sheets, it would be like having an injured goalie in your starting lineup. Below are some tips for reading a 16-section format SDS.

Section 1. Identification:

Identifies the chemical on the SDS and displays the recommended uses. This section also provides contact information of the manufacturer as well as an emergency phone number.

Section 2. Hazard Identification:

The purpose of this section is to identify various hazards the chemical presents as well as any warning information. This includes Hazard class, signal words, pictograms and hazard statements.

Section 3. Composition/Information on Ingredients:

Displays the ingredients contained in the product. It gives the concentration of each ingredient that is classified as a health hazard.

Section 4. First Aid Measures:

Describes any first aid that should be given by untrained responders if there is exposure to the chemical. This includes symptoms and recommended immediate medical care.

Section 5: Fire-Fighting Measures:

Gives recommendations of how to handle a fire that is caused by this chemical. This includes extinguishing equipment, protective equipment, and information on other hazards that can arise if the chemical burns.

Section 6: Accidental Release Measures:

Lays out the recommended response to spills, leaks, or releases of the chemical. This includes cleanup practices, emergency procedures for evacuation, protective equipment, and spill volume.

Section 7: Handling and Storage:

Outlines the procedure for safe storage of the chemical. This includes ventilation requirements if applicable.

Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection:

Recommends the specific types of personal protection such as gloves, respirators, or glasses when using the chemical referenced in the SDS.

Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties:

This section identifies the appearance, odor, density, flammability or explosive limits, as well as other physical properties of the chemical.

Section 10: Stability and Reactivity:

Breaks down the different reactive hazards of the chemical and stability information. This includes an indication of whether the chemical will react in certain situations such as pressure or temperature change, as well as any safety issues that may arise if the product changes in physical appearance. There is also a description of specific test data for the chemical.

Section 11: Toxicological Information:

Identifies any information about immediate or chronic health effects that may arise from exposure to the chemical. This also includes symptoms of exposure from lowest to most severe.

Section 12: Ecological Information:

This section measures the impact the chemical has on the environment if it were released. This includes test results if available.

Section 13: Disposal Considerations:

Provides information on how to properly dispose of the chemical as well as safe handling practices.

Section 14: Transport Information:

Provides guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting by ground, air, or sea. This includes UN number, proper shipping name, and hazard class.

Section 15: Regulatory Information:

Displays the specific regulations for the product not indicated anywhere else on the SDS.

Section 16: Other Information:

Indicates when the SDS was created and the level of revision. This section states where the changes have been made to the previous version.


As always, if you have any questions regarding SDS Services contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).


Source: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3514.html

Single Packaging
ISTA Series 6: 6-FEDEX-A Testing vs. Standard UN Testing

When we think of UN Testing, several things may come to mind. We have the drop test which evaluates the package’s ability to handle collisions, the vibration test which simulates movements created by a motorized vehicle, the Cobb test which is designed to ensure the fiberboard will not disintegrate when exposed to water, and the stacking test which checks the integrity of the package by stacking various weights over the top of it. However, those that want to test their packages under the ISTA 6-FEDEX-A requirements for packages 150 lbs. or under are finding it to be difficult to get a passing grade.

What Are The Differences?

Under standard testing, each sample is dropped only one time at a specific height for a total of 5 drops total from 5 different samples.

Under the ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing, 1 complete sample is dropped 10 times focusing on every corner and edge of the package. Any significant leaking on either of these tests would result in a failure, which makes the ISTA testing very difficult to pass because of the number of drops. In addition, flat and elongated packages must go through a bridge or concentrated impact test procedure. This procedure consists of dropping a wooden box measuring 12″ x 12″ x 12″ dense wooden box weighing 21 lbs. on the midpoint of the package.

Under standard testing, the stacking test is usually employed. This a 24-hour test in which the boxes must be subjected to the force applied to the top surface equivalent to the total weight of identical packages which might be stacked during transport. ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing specifically requires the dynamic compression test. This consists of a computerized control system which exerts a specific amount of force upon the boxes to determine if any damage to the sidewalls occurs.

Although ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing doesn’t require the Cobb moisture test, it does require a vibration test similar to standard testing. Both tests are completed by using a rotary vibration table designed to simulate the movements from motor vehicles. However, with ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing, certain items require a vibration test from a Random Vibration Tester. This vibration testing reproduces 3 consecutive sequences at 15 minutes each of random vibration profiles which simulate air vibration as well as truck vibration.


If ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing is in your future when shipping hazardous goods, you may find it challenging to find packaging that will pass the rigorous amount of drops and impact testing that are performed. Contact ICC Compliance Center for your custom packaging needs.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Who is Authoring Your SDS? – Dare to Compare

Authoring safety data sheets (SDS) is a technical job and requires a thorough understanding of various regulations depending on the destination country. Companies may promote themselves as experts, but how can you be sure?

Some companies may contract SDS work out unbeknownst to you and act as the middle-person. This in turn can lead to delayed responses as they try to understand/interpret your questions and/or get in touch with the contractor.

An SDS is a valuable and critical component of your dangerous goods product and deserves as much attention as the finished product itself. When looking for an SDS authoring company ask them questions such as the following to be sure you are selecting the right one.

  1. How many SDS have they authored?
  2. Do they understand the rules/regulations if the authoring is done manually?
  3. Can they verify the accuracy of the data if using authoring software?
  4. How long have they been authoring SDSs?
  5. Is there a team of qualified peers to contact if necessary?
  6. What process/procedure is in place to guarantee non-disclosure and safeguard any confidential business information (i.e., formulations)?
  7. Are they using authoring software?
  8. Can the SDS be integrated into a user-friendly multi-location labeling system?
  9. What type of training do they have in place for SDS authors?
  10. How many ingredients are present in their library/database?
  11. What associations do they belong to and/or are active in?
  12. How many languages can they translate an SDS to?
  13. Where or how are they storing your SDS?
  14. Can you obtain access to the completed SDS 24/7 on a dedicated site?
  15. Can you search your SDS database by fields such as CAS number, product name, or part number?
  16. What industries have they written SDS for?
  17. Are you required to complete/provide minimum information prior to starting your SDS work?
  18. Do they ask for clarification of your SDS or supporting data to ensure all information needed for a compliant SDS is obtained?
  19. Can they answer your questions as to why products were classified a certain way?

If these questions cannot be answered with confidence – or worse yet the vendor tries to pass over these questions nonchalantly – then you should continue your search. Of course you may have additional questions after reading the list. But, the above questions should give you a good reference point when deciding who to choose as your vendor. Sadly if the price is too good to be true be wary about the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” This is not an area where your business can afford a mistake.


ICC Compliance Center has a team of full-time regulatory specialists who have years of experience and are certified/recognized in their field of expertise. Contact us about authoring, reformatting, updating, and translating your SDSs. Ask us your tough questions by calling 888.442.9628 (USA) or 888.977.4834 (Canada).