OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

March 21, 1986

The Honorable Daniel P. Moynihan
United States Senate
Washington D. C. 20510

Dear Senator Moynihan:

This is in response to your letter dated March 4 on behalf of your constituent Mr. Barry Striem of Essential Products Co., Inc., regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Mr. Striem expressed concern about the application of the HCS to flavor extracts used in his business.

The HCS may in fact require the transmission of material safety data sheets for flavor extracts. The standard requires that chemical manufacturers make an evaluation of their product's toxicity and physical properties. This evaluation does not require testing. The standard's "hazard determination" procedures allow the evaluator to rely on the literature that is available.

In the case of mixtures, chemical manufacturers may rely on the material safety data sheets received from their suppliers. The material safety data sheet received may serve as the basis for your constituent's evaluation of the products he sells.

The HCS exempts flavor extracts from its labeling requirements. These products already require labeling under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Members of my staff are available to assist Mr. Striem in complying with the HCS. Mr. Striem may contact Mr. David Smith of OSHA's Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 523-8036 for help.

Please feel free to contact us again if further assistance is needed.


Patrick R. Tyson
Acting Assistant Secretary

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Moynihan:

The Occupational Safety & Health Admin.(OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910, 1200 Federal Register 48, 53280-53348, November 25, 1983 has ruled that all companies must provide Material Safety Data Sheets to their customers by Nov. 25, 1985.

These data sheets originally covering hazardous chemicals have been extended to include non-hazardous flavoring extracts such as lemon, orange, root beer, etc. which we produce.

The information requested in these data sheets are very technical requiring expensive laboratory analysis which only large companies are capable of handling and it is even quite burdensome to large companies.

Unfortunately we are not a large company and find the data requested in these sheets near impossible for us to supply. Such a burden probably will drive us out of the domestic flavor business which we have been able to survive for 91 years as a small manufacturer.

We as your help in granting a small manufacturer like ourselves some relief from this extremely burdensome ruling.


Barry Striem
Pres. Essential Products Co., Inc
90 Water Street, New York, N.Y.
February 10, 1986