- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA published on Apr. 20, 2012, a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) 2012-1, entitled Material Safety Data Sheets as Pesticide Labeling. The EPA issued the PR Notice on Apr. 9, 2012, and the agency intends it to provide guidance to registrants concerning the relationship between EPA-approved labels for pesticides registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and the material safety data sheet (MSDS, also referred to as safety data sheet (SDS)), required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The PR Notice explains how registrants can ensure their FIFRA labeling and SDSs comply with both agencies' requirements. In addition, the EPA is soliciting public comment on the information collection activities and related burden estimates associated with the guidance provided in PR Notice 2012-1. Comments on the information collection activities and related burden estimates will be due 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. PR Notice 2012-1 is effective immediately.
In PR Notice 92-4, the EPA determined that an SDS that accompanies a pesticide product is considered part of the pesticide's labeling, but may accompany a pesticide product without notification to or approval by the EPA, provided such labeling is consistent with the requirements in 40 C.F.R. Part 156. The agency intends PR Notice 2012-1 to update and clarify PR Notice 92-4.
The OSHA requires SDSs under its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), and as reported in our March 21, 2012, memorandum, which is available online, The OSHA recently revised the HCS to align it with the United Nation's Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The EPA notes that, while the OSHA will begin to accept SDSs that are prepared according to the final rule's requirements on May 25, 2012, the EPA has not yet moved to amend its labeling regulations to be consistent with the GHS. This results in differences between EPA's current requirements and OSHA's new requirements related to classification criteria, hazard statements, pictograms and signal words. According to the EPA, commenters on OSHA's proposed rule expressed concern about potential inconsistencies. The EPA and OSHA worked together to develop PR-Notice 2012-1 to address these concerns. The EPA intends the PR Notice to aid registrants in assuring that the SDSs for their products not be considered inconsistent with the EPA-approved product labeling for pesticides registered under FIFRA by providing guidance on how a registrant may reconcile an SDS with its associated FIFRA labeling.
The EPA states that it believes that "generally explaining why the FIFRA label and the SDS contain different hazard communication will prevent users from being misled." To provide an adequate explanation so the labeling is not misleading, the EPA recommends registrants include in their SDSs the hazard information required on the FIFRA label and a brief explanation for differences between that information and the SDS hazard information, as outlined in the PR Notice, which will be posted online. The EPA notes that the PR Notice is not binding on the agency and registrants, and that the EPA may depart from it "where circumstances warrant and without prior notice." Likewise, registrants may assert that the guidance is not appropriate generally, or not applicable to a specific pesticide or situation.