Tuesday, May 1, 2012

EPA Guidance On Aligning Pesticide Labels With GHS Requirements

The US EPA Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has released a Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) in the April 20 Federal Register entitled “Pesticide Registration Notice 2012-1: Material Safety Data Sheets as Pesticide Labeling.” OPP puts out PR Notices to inform pesticide registrants and others about important policies, procedures, and registration-related decisions, as well as guidance to registrants and OPP personnel.

The Notice provides guidance to pesticide 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 known as the Safety Data Sheet or SDS), required by OSHA. It explains how registrants can ensure their FIFRA labeling and SDSs comply with both EPA and OSHA requirements. The New PR Notice is intended to update previous PR Notice 92-4, in which EPA determined that a MSDS that accompanies a pesticide product is considered part of the pesticide’s labeling, but may accompany a pesticide product without notification or approval from the Agency, provided the labeling is consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR Part 156.

OSHA requires SDSs under its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) at 29 CFR 1910.1200, and is moving to align HCS requirements with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA published its final rule for HCS on March 26, 2012, and will begin to accept SDSs that are prepared according to the final rule’s requirements on May 25, 2012.

EPA has not yet moved to amend its labeling regulations to be consistent with the GHS, which leads to differences between EPA’s current requirements and OSHA’s new requirements related to classification criteria, hazard statements, pictograms, and signal words. EPA and OSHA worked together to develop PR Notice 2012-1 to address concerns about those differences. EPA says the PR-Notice is intended to aid registrants in assuring that SDSs for their products are not 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.

EPA is also asking for public comment on the information collection activities and related burden estimates associated with the guidance provided in PR Notice 2012-1. Comments must be received on or before June 19, 2012.

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