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     Awareness of the importance of safety has significantly increased over the past decade. This awareness has grown in response to activities by the government, the public, and the news media, including coverage of major chemical accidents. As a result of this increased awareness, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has expanded its Hazard Communication Standard (CFR 1910.1200) to cover all employees who could potentially be exposed to hazardous chemicals in their work areas – regardless of the place of employment or the nature of the work. The Hazard Communication Standard requires that chemical manufacturers thoroughly evaluate the potential hazards of the chemical(s) they produce and communicate to your agency the hazards and the appropriate protective measures that should be maintained through the use of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
     Aerosol Subject Restraint (ASR) manufacturers are required to supply a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The role of MSDS’s under CFR 1910.1200 is to provide information about the chemicals to which you will be exposed, including:

  ¡ Potential hazardous effects
        ¡ Physical and chemical characteristics
        ¡ Recommendations for appropriate protective measures.

     The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires approximately 120 tests that yield the toxicological, environmental, and physical property data that is used in the MSDS. Chemical manufacturers are required by the Hazard Communication Standard to provide an MSDS to the purchaser of the product at the time of delivery of the first order and, thereafter, anytime the MSDS is significantly revised. The MSDS may be included with the actual delivery, or it may be submitted electronically, or delivered by mail. As chemicals are further distributed satellite suppliers, distributors, and dealers, a copy of the MSDS must accompany their original delivery. Thus MSDS’s are disseminated along the distribution chain until they eventually reach agencies whose officers will be applying the product.

MSDS Trade Secrets
ASR manufacturers are allowed to claim "trade-secrets" as a reason for not listing all of their ingredients on the MSDS. However, this claim is often made for the purpose of not disclosing the use of occupational carcinogens in their formula. While CFR 1920.1200 makes provisions for ASR manufacturers to withhold the specific identity, including the chemical name and other specific identification of a hazardous chemical, from the MSDS, the claim of "trade secrets" may only be made provided that:

     A) The claim that the information withheld is a "trade secret" can be

     B) Both the properties of and the effects of the chemical name being withheld as trade                         
          secret, are present on the MSDS.

     C) The MSDS indicates that the specific chemical identity is being withheld
          as a trade secret.

     D) The specific chemical identity is made available to health professionals,
          employees, and designated representatives in accordance with
          CFR 1910.1200 (i) (1) (iv).

     Procurement personnel must be diligent to acquire currently dated MSDS’s prior to issuance of purchase orders. The MSDS must be in English and you are entitled to receive from your supplier a data sheet that includes 100% of the information required under CFR1910.1200. If you do not receive one automatically, you should request one. If you receive one that is obviously inadequate, with, for example, blank spaces that are not completed, you should request an appropriately completed one. If your request for a data sheet or for a corrected data sheet does not produce the information needed, you should contact your local OSHA Area Office for assistance in obtaining the MSDS.

Up ] Use of Chemical Force in America ] "Pure Capsaicin is 16 Million Scoville Heat Units"/OC Pungency Chart ] Minimize Your Aerosol Risk ] Post Exposure Cleansing ] Beware of Carcinogens in ASRs ] [ OSHA's Expanded Hazard Communication Standard ] ANSI's New MSDS Format ]

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