Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
GHS SDS Ingredient Disclosure

Young female Industrial Worker

Another SDS ‘Headache’

If you are supplying chemical products that require Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s) to multiple countries, you are also likely to know this headache well.

With the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification & Labeling (GHS) around the world progressing, issues are beginning to appear which emphasize points where…. Maybe requirements are not so ‘harmonized’. One such issue, is ingredient disclosure requirements on SDS’s for mixtures across different regions of the world.

The United Nation’s (UN’s) GHS system, does contain some standardized recommendations for SDS, including that SDS’s should be provided only for chemicals classified as ‘hazardous’, SDS’s should contain basic minimum information (e.g., 16 sections with specific headings), as well as more detailed recommended guidance on how to prepare each section of the SDS.

Ingredient disclosure recommendations, in particular, appear in Annex 4 of the GHS. In general, the GHS recommends that for a mixture classified as hazardous, the SDS should list all ‘hazardous’ ingredients, which are individually hazardous to health or the environment, when the ingredients are present above concentration cutoff levels. There’s several parts of that general requirement, which can be viewed as a ‘can of worms’.

Are the cutoff levels the same for each region of the world? How should one handle ingredient disclosure when you are in a region that doesn’t regulate environmental hazards on SDS’s? Are ‘non-hazardous’ chemical mixtures really not Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: January 29

WHMIS Labels Format, How ICAO and IATA are Related, Shipping Residues, and IATA Documentation

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

WHMIS Labels Format

Q. Is there a specified format for WHMIS 2015 workplace labels?
A. No. The information is specified but not the format. Pictograms may assist employees in quickly identifying the hazards/precautions; and may simplify employer creation of substitute “supplier” labels.

This is especially true when employees have been trained in the GHS-based WHMIS 2015 system. Employers must ensure training has been provided if GHS pictograms are used on workplace labels during the transition period.

ICAO/IATA Relationship

Q. Is a risk of non-compliance in using IATA DGR given that government regulations specify compliance with ICAO Technical instructions?
A. IATA DGR states in §1.14 that they contain all of the ICAO TI requirements and add additional restrictions. Thus, complying with IATA DGR will ensure compliance with ICAO TI. As with all regulations, it is important to keep aware of amendments/corrigenda between publication dates.

Shipping Residues (TDG)

Q. When we are shipping residues…. Can we and how do we indicate ‘Residue last contained’ on the transport document.
A. If the quantity of dangerous goods in a means of containment is less than 10 per cent of the Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: January 22, 2018

Shipping Alkaline Batteries, IBC Pressure Gauges, and SDS Expiry Under WHMIS 2015

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Shipping Spent Alkaline Batteries (49 CFR)

Q. Can spent alkaline batteries (Duracell) be shipped to a recycling facility by ground without being declared dangerous goods?
A. Assuming that these are dry alkaline batteries that are used or spent for recycling, they are not required to be shipped as dangerous goods by ground in the USA per 172.102 Provision 130 (d) provided they are rated under 9 volts per below.

Ground Transport (US DOT): 49 CFR 172.102 SPECIAL PROVISION 130

Used or spent battery exception. Used or spent dry batteries of both non-rechargeable and rechargeable designs, with a marked rating up to 9-volt that are combined in the same package and transported by highway or rail for recycling, reconditioning, or disposal are not subject to this special provision or any other requirement of the HMR.

Pressure Gauge Requirements for IBCs

Q. What are the pressure gauge testing requirements for 31A IBCs?
A. I referred the customer to 178.814 d (1) (2) which lists 2 consecutive tests that must be administered with a rating of 65kPa first followed by 200kPa.

Can You Use Capital Letters (TDG)?

Q. Do Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: January 8, 2018

3 Questions from our Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Disclosing Concentration Ranges Under WHMIS 2015

Q. Do I have to indicate “Proprietary” on a WHMIS (M)SDS when masking actual concentrations with ranges?
A. It depends. WHMIS 1988 accepted the use of concentration ranges on MSDS to mask confidential business information (CBI) without requiring any indication.

WHMIS 2015 does not currently allow the use of ranges other than the concentration range actually present for a variable substance (also, unlike WHMIS 1988, ranges cannot be used to allow a single SDS for a series of different but similar products).

Products subject to an approved masking under the HMIR Act do have to, in both versions, reference the exemption authorization on the (M)SDS.

A CBI amendment under consideration may re-introduce the permissible use of ranges to unilaterally mask actual concentrations. This proposal as currently written requires a statement in the SDS when a range is used that’s wider than the actual concentration range, to protect CBI. We’ll have to wait for the final amendment to answer the question going forward …

IMDG or TDG?

Q. Does a shipment within Canada by vessel from Newfoundland require placarding according to the IMDG Code or do the provisions of the TDGR Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: November 13, 2017

Top 4 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

WHMIS Label Size Requirements

Q. Is there were size requirements for WHMIS labels?

A. No, the HPR does not mandate a size requirement other than saying it has to be legible. But, what does legible mean? As a general rule of thumb, which we have developed from reviewing many different labeling regulations is 10 mm for one side of the pictogram, and 2 mm for the font size (1.6 mm for a worst-case scenario).

IATA Special Provision

Q. What does  IATA’s Special Provision A191 mean?

A. It was determined that SP A191 means if you have a manufactured article with less than 5 kg of mercury in it (like a thermometer) then you don’t need the Class 6.1 label for mercury’s subsidiary hazard and you don’t have to list the 6.1 subsidiary hazard on the shipper’s declaration.   From what we can tell that only applies to UN3506 which is Mercury contained in manufactured articles.

Quantity Limits – TDG (Canada)

Q: What does the quantity limit in TDG Columns 8 & 9 represent in terms of Passenger conveyance restrictions- package, consignment, …?

A: Good point which many find confusing. The answer is in the often-overlooked Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
Health Canada Notice of Intent for Possible Amendments to the HPA and HMIRA

Warehouse with chemicals

The Issues with Exclusions and Confidential Business Information (CBI) Keep Coming

Health Canada recently published a proposed amendment to the HPR (Hazardous Product Regulations), which included an option to use specified concentration ranges for ingredients rather than the exact or actual chemical concentration on their SDSs (safety data sheets) (October 21, 2017). The proposed amendment to allow these ranges, would offer industry some CBI protection of formulations without having to go through a potentially costly CBI application claim under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA).

The “Why” of the Notice

After receiving comments and questions on the proposed amendment, Health Canada brought forward two additional bigger issues, the full exclusion of consumer products from the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and HPR (or WHMIS 2015), and whether to allow CBI protections of substances with special health hazards (particularly carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxicants and respiratory sensitizers, or “CMRRs”).

The “What” of the Notice

With regard to the full exclusion of consumer products from the HPA and HPR, stakeholders felt that since the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations 2001 (CCCR 2001) did not include hazard criteria for special health hazards like the CMRR’s, a worker that might purchase a consumer product from a retail store to use in their workplace, will not have the same full hazard information on the product (and will therefore not protect themselves appropriately) that they would have if the Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: October 30, 2017

Top 4 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

WHMIS Labeling

Q. If a product is manufactured in Canada strictly for export into the US, does it require the French on the GHS label?

A. HPR (Hazard Products Regulations) section 5.14, subsection 3. These exemptions from labeling and SDS (safety data sheet) requirements apply to importation (subsection 5.14(2) of the HPR) and sale, for the purposes of exportation (subsection 5.14(3) of the HPR), of hazardous products that are not meant to be used in a work place in Canada. Such hazardous products do not require an HPR compliant label or SDS.

Lithium Battery Labels

Q. When does the 12 mm UN number height requirement start?

A. The IATA 59th edition states the UN number height should be 12 mm. Since IATA 59th edition becomes mandatory on January 1, 2018, the UN height change is effective then. Keep in mind however that IATA defines “should” as a recommendation, it is not mandatory.

Q. I have a question on the red slash marks all the way around the label – what is the requirement on that?

  • Do they have to be so many of the red slash marks? – is there a specific Continue Reading…
WHMIS 2015
Health Canada Proposed Amendment to the HPR

chemical concentrations and ranges

Hooray for Ranges!

Finally, news that every Canadian chemical manufacturer, supplier, and importer has been waiting for.

On October 21, 2017, Health Canada proposed an amendment to the HPR (Hazardous Product Regulations) providing industry with the option to use prescribed concentration ranges rather than the actual chemical concentration on their SDS (safety data sheets).

When Heath Canada updated the HPR to include the Globally Harmonized System into their regulations, they removed the ranges that were previously allowed in the 1988 edition.

One can imagine the reaction from people in the industry. We have heard things like, “I am not going to give away my formulation,” or “Are they trying to put me out of business?“.

After many months and many discussions with industry, RDC (Responsible Distribution Canada) and other Canadian associations persuaded Health Canada to agree to amend the HPR to include ranges – providing relief to industry. HMIRA claims may still be required for those who want to further protect their formula; however, Health Canada expects that with this amendment HMIRA filings will not increase.

The following is what the proposed amendment states:

  • The amendment allows the use of prescribed concentration ranges to protect ingredient concentrations and concentration ranges that are considered CBI without having to submit claims for exemption under the HMIRA. These prescribed concentration ranges will be spelled out directly in the HPR. The concentrations and concentration ranges of Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: October 9, 2017

Top 4 Questions From the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

#4. Why is My Product X when it should be Y? (USA)

Q. Why is my product listed as a Flammable Liquid Category 4, when the product is combustible?

A. Under OSHA Hazcom 2012, a product that has a flashpoint >140°F and <199.4°F is considered a Flammable Liquid Category 4.

This is illustrated in the table below:

Table B.6.1: Criteria for flammable liquids

Table B.6.1: Criteria for flammable liquids
Category Criteria
1 Flash point < 23°C (73.4°F) and initial boiling point ≤ 35°C (95°F)
2 Flash point < 23°C (73.4°F) and initial boiling point > 35°C (95°F)
3 Flash point ≥ 23°C (73.4°F) and ≤ 60°C (140°F)
4 Flash point > 60°C (140°F) and ≤ 93°C (199.4°F)

Once you have the classification, then you can apply the label phrases. The Flammable Liquid Category 4 hazard statement is Combustible Liquid. This is outlined in the table below.

C.4.19 Flammable Liquids (Continued)
(Classified in Accordance with Appendix B.6)
Hazard Category Signal Word Hazard Statement
4 Warning Combustible Liquid

 


#3. Does my Class 6 placard need to show Class 6.1? (International)

Q. I have a customer who is saying that it is the regulation to have the 6.1 on the bottom of the placard … and not just the 6 in order to ship overseas. Is Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 2015 FAQ

Humpty Dumpty When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean

Or: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, … “it means just what I choose it to mean …”
Lewis Carrol “Through the Looking Glass” in Bartleby’s “A Dictionary of Quotations”:
http://www.bartleby.com/73/2019.html

CIC Meeting

Health Canada provided an FAQ presentation at a recent CIC (Current Issues Committee) meeting that may provide a useful lead in to the more detailed Guidance document published in December 2016.

The latter, “Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the Hazardous Products Act & Hazardous Products Regulations – WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements”, provides (at 540 pages) a detailed review of the content of the law and various aspects of guidance/interpretation. This document is available for download at:

http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/9.825948/publication.html

The length of the document may be daunting to the casual user, so the FAQ presentation attempts to present Health Canada’s position on items that are of current concern.

The CIC is a multi-representative committee that meets several times a year to review, as it’s name implies, issues that can be improved to increase the effectiveness of WHMIS in helping to protect workers. Currently there are representatives from various government levels (Federal/Provincial/Territorial), Health & Safety organizations (e.g. CCOHS), industry organizations (e.g. RDC, CIAC, etc.) and Labour (CLC, Unifor, etc.).

One of the current issues being addressed is to form sub-committees that may streamline the effectiveness of the committee in considering jurisdictional issues; in addition to establishing a working group to look at Continue Reading…