Confidential Business Information (for Safety Data Sheets)

By September 20, 2022 OSHA/WHMIS/CLP

Canada has very strict rules regarding the disclosure of information on Safety Data Sheets 

Under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) the only way to hide one’s formulation is the use of prescribed ranges. According to the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR), Subsection 4.4.1(3): 

Concentration ranges 

4.4.1(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) and subsection (2), the concentration ranges are the following: 

  • from 0.1 to 1%; 
  • from 0.5 to 1.5%; 
  • from 1 to 5%; 
  • from 3 to 7%; 
  • from 5 to 10%; 
  • from 7 to 13%; 
  • from 10 to 30%; 
  • from 15 to 40%; 
  • from 30 to 60%; 
  • from 45 to 70%; 
  • from 60 to 80%; 
  • from 65 to 85%; and 
  • from 80 to 100%. 

The only way to protect an entire ingredient(s) is to file an exemption under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA).  

Once one applies for the exemption, and it is granted by Health Canada, one gets a registration number and registration date that is added to the SDS in lieu of the actual information (ingredient or concentration).  

Health Canada announced that it now has a new searchable webpage for claims for exemptions filed under the HMIRA. The website can be found here.

Claims filed under the HMIRA will no longer be published in the Canada Gazette. 

Questions about disclosure of information on a Safety Data Sheet in Canada, the US, or other countries? Contact our knowledgeable SDS Regulatory Authors. 

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Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael has been with ICC since 1988. She has contributed to ICC's growth in various capacities, including customer service, sales, and marketing. In her current role as ICC's Senior Regulatory Expert and SDS author, Karrie conducts hazardous materials training classes in 49 CFR, IATA, IMDG, TDG along with OSHA and WHMIS hazard communication courses. When not training, she writes safety data sheets for customers to comply with North American and European requirements. She actively participates in many associations, including DGAC, COSTHA and is the former chair of SCHC’s OSHA Alliance Committee.

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