Regulatory Helpdesk: March 5

Batteries, Batteries, and more Lithium Batteries

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.

Why do I need an SDS for a Laptop Battery?

Q. We are shipping used laptops with batteries in the units from the US to HK via air. There are multiple manufacturers and models, are (M)SDS sheets required for each model? Our forwarder is requesting them in order to provide pricing.
A. To answer your question, it would depend on why the forwarder is requesting them. They may be asking for them to meet the written emergency response requirements. However, they could be asking for them for classification purposes to prove which part of the packing instructions these meet.

The SDS could tell them the watt-hour rating which would then drive which part of the instruction to use. Forwarders and carriers have a lot of leeway. I can only speak to what the regulations say. There is nothing in 49 CFR or IATA that indicates you must use an SDS. Most people tend to default to them because they meet so many parts of the regulations in one place.

Manufacturer’s Packaging (Lithium Battery)

Q. Should I remove the manufacturer’s packaging from lithium ion batteries being shipped by air under PI 965 Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: February 12

Lithium Batteries, Placards, and SDS in the Workplace

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.

Lithium Batteries (Air)

Q. For PI 967 in IATA is the weight limit the weight of the equipment and battery inside of it or just the battery.
A. For all battery packing instructions in IATA it is always the weight of the battery itself.

Lithium Batteries (IMDG)

Q. Do “excepted” batteries require segregation from limited quantity packages under IMDG?
A. Under IMDG § it tells you that segregation requirements in Chapters 7.2 – 7.7 plus any information on Stowage in column 16b of the table do not apply to goods in limited quantity packages. Lithium ion batteries do not yet need segregation under IMDG either. It is only IATA that has implemented segregation this year as part of the packing instructions for shippers. IATA has also added batteries to the segregation table for operators, but it isn’t mandatory until next year and only applies to those in Section 1A and 1B not Section II.

Placards (TDG)

Q. Customer asked if his Class 8 material (UN 1830) needed to have a UN number on the placard if shipping 1 liter per package and 7 per tote for a total of 17 Liters for the shipment in Canada. Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: February 5

Labels, Placards, Segregation, Documentation, SDSs & Emergency Response

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.

Here are the top 6 questions from last week.

SDS and Workplace Labels

Q. If I have a product like a concentrated cleaner which is corrosive to the eyes and skin that I water down at my facility, do I need a new SDS and workplace labeling?
A. You have 2 options. You can use the SDS as provided to create your workplace labeling. This may cause concern with your workers. However, it would be better for you to develop your own and re-evaluate the product using the hazards presented in the watered-down version. It is possible, depending on how diluted it is, to move into the irritation or non-hazardous range.

Listing Canutec or Chemtrec on Lithium Battery Marks

Q. Regarding the new battery mark, am I allowed to add “in case of emergency, contact Chemtrec”?
A. The regulations are pretty clear (DOT §173.185(c)(3) and IATA What should be listed there is a phone number for “additional information”. There should be no extra phrasing other than phone number itself. As for listing Chemtrec, Infotrac or even Canutec, those are 3rd party Emergency Response Providers and would not be appropriate to include in that section of Continue Reading…
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 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…
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.


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 Continue Reading…

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 Continue Reading…

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 Continue Reading…
WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 2015 – The Great SDS “Headache” – Concentrations

New Concentrations and Concentration Ranges Rules

If you’ve begun switching your MSDSs to SDSs under the new WHMIS 2015 regulations, you likely know this headache all too well.

With the publication and implementation of the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR or WHMIS 2015), Health Canada removed the old Controlled Products Regulations’ (CPR or WHMIS 1988) list of prescribed concentration ranges that could be used in MSDSs. These concentrations were in place, in part, to allow some Confidential Business Information (CBI) protection when concentrations varied in a product. WHMIS 2015 now requires disclosure of exact concentrations of ingredients, or the actual concentration range of the ingredient. Actual concentration ranges can only be used if the concentration varies in the product due to issues such as batch to batch variability. You cannot list a range if you have an exact concentration, and simply wanted to “protect your formula”.

Suppliers would be required to file a CBI claim under WHMIS 2015 requirements, if even just to protect the exact concentration of one ingredient on a SDS. A whole host of difficulties may face the supplier in obtaining information that would be needed to complete this type of CBI submission, such as obtaining exact concentration information from suppliers outside the country, where CBI or trade secret requirements are different from those in Canada. In the United States, for example, there is no federal requirement Continue Reading…

Environmental Update
EPA Aligns 40 CFR Part 370 with OSHA Hazcom 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final technical amendment to 40 CFR Part 370, in June 2016 which aligns the hazardous chemical reporting regulations to the changes in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazcom 2012.

These changes have a compliance date of January 1, 2018, and affect reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), sections 311 and 312.

Section 311 of EPCRA requires facilities to submit a SDS or a list of hazardous chemicals grouped by categories of physical and health hazards. Section 312 of EPCRA requires facilities to submit an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form yearly by March 1.

Prior to the change in 2012, the hazard communication regulations (OSHA) were performance oriented, and did not specify the language/description or format that the company had to use. Once the hazard communication regulations were updated, stakeholders requested that EPA align the wording to be consistent with the new OSHA Hazcom 2012 regulations.

Some of the changes in 40 CFR Part 370 include:

  • Technical terms have been updated (i.e., Material Safety Data Sheet to Safety Data Sheet)
  • The definition of Hazard Category has been updated
  • The “Five categories” (Fire/Sudden release of pressure/Reactive/Immediate acute and Delayed-chronic) have been changed to match the physical and health hazards outlined the Hazcom 2012
  • The Tier I and Tier II inventory forms are modified
  • Tier 2 Submit, the software will be updated, and EPA is Continue Reading…