Are You in Violation of the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR)? Is Your Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Compliant?
By: Kirsten Alcock, Manager of Product Safety, email
When the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) regulations came into effect in Canada, the three year renewal period was abolished FEDERALLY. As I have discussed in previous blogs, the three-year effect remains in effect in some provinces. If you are selling to those provinces, please ensure that your Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are up-to-date and reviewed every three years. For further information on the provinces involved, please contact me for details.
Today I will be discussing the federal requirements to update a Safety Data Sheet (SDS). The Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) states in section 5.12 (1) the definition of significant new data. Significant new data is that which changes the hazard classification of the product as a whole. If significant new data comes about for an ingredient within your product or for the product as a whole, there is a requirement to update your SDS. The sale of a hazardous product for which new significant data becomes available MUST be updated within 90 days. You will be in violation of the law if you do not update your SDS.
What is significant new data? How can you determine if a change is required? If you are not the individual authoring your SDSs, this is difficult to determine. New data is constantly becoming available that has the potential to impact your overall classification. Dell Tech prides ourselves on keeping the information on our raw materials up-to-date. New information that can impact a classification can include, but is not be limited to, new toxicity LD50/LC50 data which can have a significant impact on your overall classification. Without doing a recalculation of the product toxicity, your product may not have the correct toxicity class for GHS. New information can also include irritation studies. Perhaps there is new information indicating that a particular chemical is no longer considered irritating to the eyes, skin or respiratory tract. This is very common as new information is constantly becoming available from data sources such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Many chemicals are on specific lists that can impact your classification such as those of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Is a chemical now considered carcinogenic but was not in the past? These lists change and if a product is now considered a carcinogen, your SDS and label must reflect this change.
Without delving into your product formulation, there is no way for you to know if a classification change is required. You could be putting your company at risk with Health Canada if you are not reviewing your formulations thereby you would be in VIOLATION of the law. At Dell Tech, we continue to advise our clients when their SDS is three years old to help with your compliance requirements. Ultimately, you are responsible for the Safety Data Sheet you are providing your clients.
If you would like further information on your safety data sheet requirements or are interested in updating your existing documents to be in compliance with the HPR, please contact us. We’d be happy to help you with the process.