If your organization uses chemicals on the jobsite, there’s a good chance your EH&S personnel have spent a great deal of time crafting environmental reports. With ongoing compliance obligations to often-changing regulations and the public pushing for more accountability on a corporate level, it’s important to be as transparent as possible about the hazardous chemicals that your organization handles.
On January 30, President Trump signed an executive order entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” which targets the reduction of the number of regulations issued by the federal government. The order requires federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new one introduced.
A Chemical Safety Data Sheet, or chemical SDS, provides much-needed information about hazards that are located within the workplace. OSHA and EPA regulations help companies create risk management programs in order to minimize exposure to chemicals.
On June 22, President Obama signed into law the Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. This act represents the first major legislation to regulate chemical management in the US since the TSCA was passed 40 years ago. The reforms finally empower the EPA to effectively evaluate and mitigate chemicals heretofore presumed safe simply because they had not been tested. The agency must now also affirm the safety of any new chemical before it can be marketed. The Lautenberg Act raises the importance of chemical management as a function of public trust to the level of the Clean Water Act, with the potential to have the same long-term positive impact on this and future generations of Americans.
Although they are regulated by law, safety data sheets are older than most modern regulatory agencies. The earliest records detailing chemical ingredients come from the Egyptian physician, Imhotep, who recorded how he treated various ailments. What began as individualized prescriptions and recipes over 4,000 years ago have now evolved into the global standard for communicating crucial information about chemicals.