GHS in Canada. What is going on?
By: Kirsten Alcock, Manager of Product Safety, email
Last week at the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC) conference in Washington DC, Kim Godard and Véronique Lalonde gave an update of where the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) stands in Canada.
They discussed briefly what the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is and the key elements such as the classification criteria, labeling and the Safety Data Sheet requirements for hazardous products. They touched on the technical guidance updates that have occurred since the GHS version 5 was adopted here within Canada. These updates include but are not limited to the newly prescribed concentration ranges. These prescribed concentration ranges are for hazardous ingredients only. The guidance report not only advises how the prescribed concentration range can be used, but also advises that a statement indicating the concentration is being withheld as a trade secret MUST be included. Do you include this statement on your SDSs? We do at Dell Tech.
The new Technical Guidance updates also include a section regarding the classification of substances that have been evaluated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP).
Some of the most exciting news from the conference is that Canada will be aligning with GHS Version 7 in the future.
What does this mean for you? It means an updated SDS and label will be required which contains new GHS statement requirements. No dates for implementation have been provided at this point in time but I would suspect to see these changes within the next year or so.
We have always advised that our clients do not print thousands of labels for their products in lieu of the fact that GHS is constantly changing.
We will keep you all updated as news becomes available but for now it is business as usual. Canadian SDSs will continue to be created using the version 5 GHS statement criteria. If you are not currently writing your SDSs to comply with our current regulations and need our help, do not hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to walk you through the process.