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

This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any situation not delineated within the original correspondence.

February 27, 2009

Mr. Gabe Farkas
Vice President, Engineering
Icynene, Inc
6747 Campobello Road
Mississauga, Ontario

L5N 2L7 Canada

Dear Mr. Farkas:

This is a response to your correspondence dated January 6, 2009 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs. The issues of concern in your letter relate to previous correspondence that OSHA had with the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) and Canada's Ministry of Labour, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) division regarding alleged deficiencies on a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for one of Icynene's insulation products. You are requesting that OSHA issue a "cease and desist" order to NAIMA to stop them from publically alleging deficiencies in the MSDS for your insulation product.

Background: The MSDS for the Icynene Insulation System was provided to OSHA by NAIMA who requested that we review it for deficiencies. Subsequent to our review of the MSDS, and through direct communications you had with my staff, it became apparent that OSHA had originally been provided with an MSDS for the installed Icynene Insulation System, and not that of the two part product (raw materials) used by employers and employees during the installation process. The MSDS for the final Icynene insulation product would not be expected to contain the same hazard information as the MSDS for the raw materials used by employees installing the insulation. Any chemical hazards and exposure potentials of the final, cured insulation are different than those of the raw materials or component parts.

On November 12, 2008, OSHA received MSDSs for Icynene's two-part spray insulation system from WHMIS. They have been reviewed by my office and were found to meet OSHA's requirements for MSDS content as listed in 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(2). The MSDSs provide information about the hazards of occupational exposure to isocyanates contained in the product. They also provide information, required by 1910.1200(g)(2), on routes of exposure and how employees can protect themselves from the respiratory and sensitization hazards associated with exposures to methylene bisphenyl isocyanate (MDI). You have assured our office that they are being provided to purchasing employers as required by OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200(g).

In your letter, you requested that OSHA require NAIMA to "cease and desist" distributing OSHA's original correspondence (to NAIMA) which relates apparent deficiencies found in the MSDS for the Insulation System. As you were advised in a previous telephone conversation with a member of my staff, OSHA cannot issue a "cease and desist" order against NAIMA. We have, however, sent a letter (see attached) to NAIMA informing them that the MSDS for the two-part spray insulation system meets OSHA's requirements. It is our intent to post the letter we are sending to NAIMA on our public Internet web site. OSHA now considers the original correspondence with Icynene, as well as with NAIMA, to be closed.

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 may consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. Thank you for your inquiry and for your interest in occupational safety and health matters.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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