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ACC proposal combines MSDSs, labeling standards
DHS adopts NFPA standards
Volume 23, No. 6

ACC proposal combines MSDSs, labeling standards

A proposal by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) will combine American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and chemical labeling. To discuss possible interest in the proposed standard, which would combine ANSI Z400.1 and ANSI Z129.1, the council held an open meeting in October.

The proposal was inspired by the U.N.'s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), which is aimed at creating a worldwide system of criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health, environmental and physical hazards; and hazard communication requirements for labeling and safety data sheets. Like GHS, ACC's plan is voluntary guidance.

The committee is also addressing issues brought up by recommendations made by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) following their investigation of an Oct. 29, 2007, chemical explosion at a distribution facility in Des Moines, IA. The explosion was caused by a static electrical spark resulting from inadequate electrical bonding and grounding during the filling of a portable steel tank, according to a report released by CSB on Sept. 18, 2008. Also, according to the report, the accident occurred about three months after a July 17, 2007, explosion and fire destroyed a facility in Wichita, KS -- an accident that was attributed to the same cause in a June 2008 final report.

DHS adopts NFPA standards

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adopted two additional National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for first responders.

  • NFPA 472 - Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents.
  • NFPA 473 - Standard for Competencies for EMS Personnel Responding to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents.

The two standards set minimum requirements for personnel responding to incidents involving hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction.

NFPA 472 sets minimum competency levels for personnel responding to such incidents and NFPA 473 covers the requirements for basic life support and advanced life support personnel in the prehospital setting.

All NFPA safety codes and standards are developed through a process accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The recommendations include providing warnings for static-accumulating materials or those that could possibly form ignitable vapor-air mixtures in storage tanks, as well as advising users that bonding and grounding were not sufficient to safeguard against the hazards from static-accumulating flammable liquids.


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