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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1200; 1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C)(2)

April 4, 2005

Ms. Margarethe Jaroszewski, Manager
Regulatory Consulting and Applied Toxicology
Ariel Research Corp. Europe ApS
Lyngbyvej 20, 3
DK 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

Dear Ms. Jaroszewski:

Thank you for your January 27, 2005, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's), Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). Please be aware that this response may not be applicable to any statement or question not delineated within your original correspondence. You had specific questions regarding OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200, as it applies to material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for mixtures. Your statement and question are paraphrased below, followed by our response.

Statement: We are in the process of developing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for our European clients who are exporting their products to the United States. During the process several questions arose regarding 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C)(2); which states " The chemical and common names(s)...which comprise less than 1% (0.1% for carcinogens) of the mixture, if there is evidence that the ingredient(s) could be released from the mixture in concentrations which would exceed an established OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit or ACGIH Threshold Limit Value, or could present a health risk to employees;". Our clients are faced with a situation where many of their cosmetic products used by beauticians and hairdressers contain small amounts (below 0.1%) of fragrance or preservatives that are recognized skin sensitizers.

Question: What is the existing practice for lower limits of disclosure, and what are the requirements for our clients to be in compliance?

Response: To be in compliance with the HCS, your clients would have to report the chemical and common names of all components on the MSDSs which pose a health risk to employees. Appendix A of the HCS lists health effects of chemicals which are considered health hazards under the standard. Chemicals which are sensitizers are included in Appendix A. As you point out, this has to be done regardless of the percentage amounts of the chemical present in their products provided that there is scientific evidence that the particular chemical poses a health risk to employees. Chemicals that are sensitizers may be present in very low concentrations in mixtures, yet still present a health risk to exposed workers. As such, this information must be noted on the MSDS. Employees who are end-users of such products have a right to know what hazards they are being exposed to.

We thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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 the website at
http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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