Source: SPECIALIST PRINTING WORLDWIDE : ISSUE 2: 2010
Elaine Campling outlines the key points in the The European Chemicals Agency’s latest documentation
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) draft guidance on the compilation of safety data sheets is available on the ECHA Website. The purpose of this guidance is said to help industry to comply with the requirements of Article 31 (Requirements for safety data sheets) and Annex II (Guide to the Compilation of Safety Data Sheets) of the REACH Regulation. The document is also described as providing useful
information for recipients in relation to the requirements of Directive 98/24/EC on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work. There is also an overview of related elements of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP) Regulation (EC) 1272/2008.
The main body of the guidance is some 120 pages in length and, whilst the overall objective may be to help both suppliers and recipients, the latter may have difficulty in disseminating the information that is provided to them in the form of the new SDS. Both for suppliers and customers, unravelling the complexities of their duties and the impacts of both regulations has been, and will be challenging, as we pass through the transition phases. The SDS is the primary hazard communication tool for substances and mixtures in the supply chain. Prior to entry into force of the REACH Regulation, the European legislative instrument for the SDS was Directive 91/155/EEC (amended by 93/112/EC and 2001/58/EC). Whilst there are transition periods for products supplied prior to the 1 December 2010, new substances/ mixtures and revised safety data sheets supplied after this date will need to be accompanied by a SDS meeting the new requirements, as set out in Annex II of the REACH Regulation.