New Report on Carcinogens May Affect OSHA MSDSs

By July 7, 2011 Uncategorized

OSHA has reminded suppliers of hazardous chemicals in the US that the new release of the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) 12th Report on Carcinogens may require them to update their material safety data sheets (MSDSs).

The report, released on June 10, 2011 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has added two substances (aristolochic acids and formaldehyde) to its list of known human carcinogens. Furthermore, it has added six substances–captafol, certain types of inhalable glass wool fibers, cobalt-tungsten carbide, o-nitrotoluene, riddelliine and styrene–to its list of chemicals and biological agents that are reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans. Some of these chemicals, such as formaldehyde and styrene, are common in industrial products.

The NTP list is referenced in OSHA’s hazard communication standard as a source for classifying chemicals as carcinogens, and MSDSs must disclose the NTP classification if the concentration of the ingredients is 0.1% or higher. Therefore, MSDSs that would be affected must be updated as soon as practicable, and employers who use these products in the workplace must update their training and procedures to reflect the new information.

The NTP 12th Report on Carcinogens may be viewed online at, and OSHA’s summary at If you have questions about how this affects your hazard communication program, please contact ICC The Compliance Center Inc. at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-977-4834 (Canada).

Barbara Foster

Barbara Foster

Barbara Foster graduated from Dalhousie University with a Master’s degree in Chemistry and a Bachelor’s degree in Education. As one of ICC Compliance Center’s most senior employees, she has worked in the Toronto office for the past three decades as a Regulatory Affairs Specialist and Trainer. She is fluent in various US, Canadian, and international regulations involving transportation, including TDG, 49 CFR, ICAO, IMDG, and the ADR/RID. She also specializes in the hazard communication standards of OSHA, WHMIS, CCCR, and the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling (GHS). Barbara is the author of ICC’s TDG Clear Language Driver and Handler’s Guide. Currently, she is a participant on the Canadian General Standards Board committee where she creates training standards for transportation of dangerous goods in Canada and is a past Chair of the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council.