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|Title: 11/01/1999 - HAZCOM: Clarification of "article" and "hazardous substance".|
|Record Type: Interpretation||Standard Number: 1910.1200(c); 1910.1200(d)(4)|
November 1, 1999
Ms. Michele Sabulsky
813 Frederick Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21228
Dear Ms. Sabulsky:
OSHA does not make hazard determinations on a case-by-case basis, since it is the manufacturer who is most familiar with a productís composition, its intended uses, and the potential downstream exposures. We are not generally involved in the hazard determination process until it is brought to our attention that the manufacturer's MSDS may be incomplete or inadequate.
Your letter seems to ask whether or not the gaskets your company produces are an "article" under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Articles do not present a hazardous exposure to employees and are exempt from coverage under the standard. Hopefully, the following guidance will be of assistance to you in making the determination of whether your product is an "article" or a "hazardous chemical."
A hazardous chemical is any chemical which is a health hazard or a physical hazard. Crystalline silica is considered a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). According to the HCS, any hazardous chemical determined to be a carcinogen by IARC, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), or regulated as a carcinogen by OSHA is considered a carcinogen for the purposes of the HCS and must be designated as such on the MSDS. Crystalline silica is clearly a hazardous chemical.
Teach your employees about MSDS's with posters and pamphlets from Safety Emporium.
Therefore, if at any time during employee handling of your product (for example, shipping, packaging, installation, or final use), the silica in your product is available for employee exposure (in quantities other than minute or trace amounts), then your product would not be considered an article and the potential health effects must be reported on the MSDS.
I hope that this provides the clarification you were seeking. If you require further assistance, please contact the Office of Health Compliance Assistance at 202-693-2190. Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.
Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
The official, public domain, OSHA version of this document is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=22807&p_text_version=FALSE