Best practices in Global MSDS authoring and distribution

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Courtesy of 3E Company

Organizations of all sizes face increasing challenges from globalization and changinginternational regulatolY initiatives.These challenges affect an organization'sability to produce and maintain materialsafety data sheets (MSDSs). MSDSs arerequired during sale, use, storage, andshipment of hazardous chemicals.

Global MSDS Requirements
Countries have different requirementsand guidelines for the information that isrequired on an MSDS and how the informationis to be used. The regulation inthe United States is OSHA:s Hazard CommunicationStandard, 29 CFR 1910.1200;the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) andControlled Product Regulations (CPA)govern MSDSs in Canada. The regulationin Europe is the REACH Regulation(J 907/2006) from 2007. Japan, Taiwan,Korea, China and other Asian countriesalso have unique requirements.1272/2008, which is replacing Directives67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC during atransition period. The Globally HarmonizedSystem of Classification and Labelingof Chemicals (GHS) has already beenimplemented in a number of Asian countriesand is being implemented globallyto replace regulations governing the hazarddetermination of chemicals and thepreparation of MSDSs.

Updating MSDSs
MSDSs must be updated depending uponthe geography into which chemicals aresold or used. OSHA requires MSDSs to beupdated within three months following theawareness of significant new informationabout a chemical. Canada requires revisionsof MSDSs evelY three years or whennew information is known. In Europe,MSDSs must be updated bnmediately whena new regulation comes into play and whenthere are significant changes in the hazardof the chemicals; when other, non-risk-relatedinformation becomes known, theMSDSs must be updated within one year.

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