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Chemical Reactions

This week the Obama Administration signaled its interest in chemicals management and hazards communication in two key ways.

On Tuesday, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson delivered a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, in which she outlined the EPA’s “essential principles” for chemicals management, specifically stating goals for legislative reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) and enhancement of EPA’s existing chemicals management programs.  These principles call for TSCA reform to be based on sound science and pave the way for additional reporting of chemicals’ use and exposure information.

Today, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to modify its existing Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).  The proposed modifications to OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard include revised criteria for classification of chemical hazards; revised labeling provisions; and a specified format for safety data sheets.

Although Congress presently is focused on health care and climate change, the Administration’s actions indicate that it is only a matter of time before chemicals management issues come to the forefront. I, for one, am very curious to see how this plays out and what impact it will have on industry.

Posted 09-30-2009 4:04 PM by Sarah Owen


Utility markers wrote re: Chemical Reactions
on 12-07-2009 6:47 AM

The changes make good sense and will be effective in conveying critically important information on chemical hazards. I have skimmed through the newsflash, very helpful indeed. It looks like I may need to change a few signs and labels in my workshop to comply with these new OSHA regulations. I know who I will be contacting shortly, that will be my brilliant sign and label manufacturer, LEM Products. LEM Products are brilliant at customizing signs and will no doubt be right on top of these developments. You can visit their website, at to see exactly what these professionals can do for you.

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