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American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. "The ACGIH® is a member-based organization and community of professionals that advances worker health and safety through education and the development and dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge."


ACGIH® Threshold Limit Value. An airborne concentration of a substance that represents conditions under which it is generally believed that nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed without adverse effect. The duration must be considered, including the 8-hour.


The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) "was done at Geneva on 30 September 1957 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, and it entered into force on 29 January 1968. The Agreement itself was amended by the Protocol amending article 14 (3) done at New York on 21 August 1975, which entered into force on 19 April 1985. The Agreement itself is short and simple. The key article is the second, which say that apart from some excessively dangerous goods, other dangerous goods may be carried internationally in road vehicles subject to compliance with

  • the conditions laid down in Annex A for the goods in question, in particular as regards their packaging and labelling; and
  • the conditions laid down in Annex B, in particular as regards the construction, equipment and operation of the vehicle carrying the goods in question."


The American National Standards Institute "is a private, non-profit organization (501(c)3) that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. The Institute's mission is to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity."

ANSI® Standard Z129.1-2000

"This Standard establishes guidelines for the preparation of precautionary information on hazardous chemicals, as defined in the standard, that is placed on container labels intended for industrial use. It also defines criteria necessary for assessing hazards that determine which, if any, precautionary information should be placed on the label and other forms of labeling."

ANSI® Standard Z400.1-2004

"This Standard applies to the preparation of MSDSs for chemicals and materials used under occupational conditions. It presents basic information on how to develop and write MSDSs that are complete, clear and consistent."

Australian ADG Code

Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail. "The code prepared by the standing national Advisory Committee on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and endorsed by the Australian Transport Advisory Council. The ADG Code is based on recommendations prepared by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. The ADG Code covers the classification, packaging, marking and transport of dangerous goods."

Australian NOHSC:1005(1994)

In Australia, the National Model Regulations for the Control of Workplace Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:1005(1994)] requires that "...manufacturers and importers shall: (a) produce MSDS for all hazardous substances which they supply;(b) review and revise MSDS to keep them up to date, and in any case at intervals not exceeding five years from the date of last issue of the MSDS; and (c) provide a current MSDS to the Australian National Material Safety Data Sheet Repository."

Australian NOHSC:2011(2003)

"This code of practice provides guidance on the preparation of an MSDS under the workplace hazardous substances and Dangerous Goods regulatory framework. Under this framework a supplier must produce MSDS for all hazardous substances and/or Dangerous Goods. Compliance with this code will ensure the MSDS is prepared in accordance with the recommended formats in Australia."

Australian Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons

"The Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons (SUSDP) and its Amendments contain the decisions of the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC), regarding the classification of drugs and poisons into Schedules for inclusion in the relevant legislation of the States and Territories. The SUSDP also includes model provisions about containers and labels, a list of products recommended to be exempt from those provisions, and recommendations about other controls on drugs and poisons."

California Proposition 65

"Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The Proposition was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals." You can get more information on Prop 65 from the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assesment.


"The Cal/OSHA Program is responsible for enforcing California laws and regulations pertaining to workplace safety and health and for providing assistance to employers and workers about workplace safety and health issues. The Cal/OSHA Enforcement Unit conducts inspections of California workplaces based on worker complaints, accident reports and high hazard industries. There are 22 Cal/OSHA Enforcement Unit district offices located throughout the state of California. Specialized enforcement units such as the Mining and Tunneling Unit and the High Hazard Enforcement Unit augment the efforts of district offices in protecting California workers from workplace hazards in high hazard industries."

Canadian CPR

Canadian Controlled Products Regulations. "Section 23 of the Controlled Products Regulations sets out the requirements for an imported controlled product that is to be labelled or repackaged in Canada. The Canadian importer who imports a controlled product in accordance with subsection 23(1) of the CPR must obtain or prepare a MSDS before the controlled product is used or sold in Canada."

Canadian DSL

Canadian Domestic Substances List. "On May 4, 1994, Environment Canada published the Domestic Substances List (DSL) in Part II of the Canada Gazette. The DSL is an inventory of approximately 23 000 substances manufactured in, imported into or used in Canada on a commercial scale. It is based on substances present in Canada, under certain conditions, between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1986."

Canadian HPA

Canadian Hazardous Products Act. "Section 13 of the Hazardous Products Act places a legal requirement on the Canadian supplier of a WHMIS controlled product 'intended for use in a work place in Canada' to transmit a MSDS and to apply a label disclosing prescribed information as a condition of sale. Section 14 of the HPA places a legal requirement on the Canadian importer of a controlled product to obtain or prepare a MSDS and to apply a label as a condition of importation."

Canadian NDSL

Canadian Non-Domestic Substances List. "Environment Canada has published and continues to maintain a Non-Domestic Substances List (NDSL). This second publication is based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substances Inventory for 1985, and contains more than 58 000 entries. Substances that are not on the DSL but are listed on the NDSL are subject to lesser information requirements."

Canadian WHMIS

Canadian Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. "The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada’s national hazard communication standard. The key elements of the system are cautionary labelling of containers of WHMIS “controlled products”, the provision of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and worker education programs."

Canadian TDG

The Transport Dangerous Goods Directorate "is the focal point for the national program to promote public safety during the transportation of dangerous goods. The TDG Directorate serves as the major source of regulatory development, information and guidance on dangerous goods transport for the public, industry and government employees."

CAS Number

A CAS Number or CAS Registry Number® is a unique identifying number assigned by the Chemical Abstract Service to a single chemical substance.

Ceiling Level

The concentration that shall not be exceeded during any part of the working exposure.


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). "The DFG is the central, self-governing research organisation that promotes research at universities and other publicly financed research institutions in Germany."


DFG Maximale Arbeitsplatzkonzentrationen (Maximum Concentration Value). The MAK is the "maximum allowable concentration of a working substance in the workplace atmosphere as a gas, steam or aerosol that, according to current knowledge, does not impair the health of employees exposed during eight-hour working days over the long term."


European Inventory of Existing Commercial chemical Substances. "It lists and defines all chemical substances that were on the European Community market between 1 January 1971 and 18 September 1981. (Einecs, OJ No C 146A, 15.6.1990)."

European Union Commission Directive 2001/58/EC

Commission Directive 2001/58/EC of 27 July 2001 amending for the second time Directive 91/155/EEC defining and laying down the detailed arrangements for the system of specific information relating to dangerous preparations in implementation of Article 14 of European Parliament and Council Directive 1999/45/EC and relating to dangerous substances in implementation of Article 27 of Council Directive 67/548/EEC (safety data sheets)

European Union Commission Directive 2004/73/EC

Commission Directive 2004/73/EC of 29 April 2004 adapting to technical progress for the twenty-ninth time Council Directive 67/548/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances


Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals


Hazardous Materials Identification System. This rating system was developed by the National Paint and Coating Association and has been adopted by industry to identify the degree of chemical hazards.


International Agency for Research on Cancer. "IARC is part of the World Health Organization. IARC's mission is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer control. The Agency is involved in both epidemiological and laboratory research and disseminates scientific information through publications, meetings, courses, and fellowships."


International Air Transport Association. IATA "was founded in Havana, Cuba, in April 1945. It is the prime vehicle for inter-airline cooperation in promoting safe, reliable, secure and economical air services-for the benefit of the world's consumers."


Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health. This exposure level represents a concentration from which one can escape within 30-minutes without suffering escape-preventing or permanent injury.


International Labour Organization. "The International Labour Organization is the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. It was founded in 1919 and is the only surviving major creation of the Treaty of Versailles which brought the League of Nations into being and it became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. The ILO formulates international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labour rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work related issues."


International Maritime Organization. The purposes of the Organization are "to provide machinery for cooperation among Governments in the field of governmental regulation and practices relating to technical matters of all kinds affecting shipping engaged in international trade; to encourage and facilitate the general adoption of the highest practicable standards in matters concerning maritime safety, efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of marine pollution from ships".


Interorganization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals. The IOMC was established in 1995 to strengthen cooperation and increase coordination in the field of chemical safety. The IOMC is the pre-eminent mechanism for initiating, facilitating and coordinating international action to achieve the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 2020 goal for sound management of chemicals.

Japanese ENCS

Japanese Existing and New Chemical Substances. "The ENCS is the list of Existing and New Chemical Substances promulgated by the Kashin Act of Japan, which regulates chemical substances that are either manufactured or imported in Japan."

Japanese Industrial Safety and Health Law

Japan's Industrial Safety and Health Law and related regulations were enacted in 1972 and prescribe detailed safety and health measures to be taken by employers. The government has also made announcement of detailed guidelines for employers to implement measures in compliance with the Industrial Safety and Health Law and Regulations. According to the Guidelines for the Necessary Measures to Prevent Health Impairments to Workers Due to Chemical Substances, Etc. (2000), "...any party who is an Employer, and who transfers or otherwise provides Items Subject to Notification, is to have a person who is properly qualified with the required knowledge to prepare safety data sheets for Chemical Substances..."


Japanese Standards Association. The JSA is essentially the Japanese equivalent of the American National Standards Institute. "The JSA, an organization formed through the merger of the Dai Nihon Aerial Technology Association and the Japan Management Association, was authorized to incorporate by the Minister of Trade and Industry on December 6, 1945."

JSA JIS Z 7250:2005

Japanese Industrial Standard for Safety Data Sheets for Chemical Products

Korean ECL

Korean Existing Chemicals List. "ECL is the Korean Existing Chemicals List established under the Toxic Chemicals Control Law (TCCL). The Existing Chemicals List, published by the Minister of Environment, is current through 1994 and contains approximately 30,000 substances. Newly manufactured or imported chemicals are subject to a toxicity examination by the Ministry of Environment."


Limit of Quantitation


A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that provides detailed information about the hazards of a substance or mixture. MSDSs are vitally important to communicate information on the safe use, handling, cleanup, and transporation of hazardous materials to anyone who works with or may be exposed to such hazardous materials. MSDSs are also vitally important to emergency personnel such as doctors, so that they may safely treat exposed persons, and firefighters, so that they may safely fight a fire involving hazardous materials.


National Fire Protection Association. "The mission of the international nonprofit NFPA is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education."


Notice of Intended Change


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is "the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness."

NIOSH Ceiling

The exposure that shall not be exceeded during any part of the workday. If instantaneous monitoring is not feasible, the ceiling shall be assumed as a 15-minute TWA exposure (unless otherwise specified) that shall not be exceeded at any time during a workday.


NIOSH’s Recommended Exposure Limits. "For NIOSH RELs, 'TWA' indicates a time-weighted average concentration for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. A short-term exposure limit (STEL) is, unless noted otherwise, a 15-minute TWA exposure that should not be exceeded at any time during a workday."


National Toxicology Program. "The NTP is an interagency program whose mission is to evaluate agents of public health concern by developing and applying tools of modern toxicology and molecular biology. The program maintains an objective, science-based approach in dealing with critical issues in toxicology and is committed to using the best science available to prioritize, design, conduct, and interpret its studies."


OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits. This exposure value means exactly the same thing as a TLV, except that it is enforceable by OSHA. The OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits are based in the 1989 PELs and the June, 1993 Air Contaminants Rule (Federal Register: 58: 35338-35351 and 58: 40191). Both the current PELs and the vacated PELs are indicated. The phrase, “Vacated 1989 PEL,” is placed next to the PEL that was vacated by Court Order.


Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. RTECS® "is a factual database that contains toxicity data and references for commercially important substances, including drugs and agrochemicals. The substance information and toxicology results are collected by NIOSH, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus


Short Term Exposure Limit. "Usually a 15-minute time-weighted average (TWA) exposure that should not be exceeded at any time during a workday, even if the 8-hr TWA is within the TLV-TWA, PEL-TWA or REL-TWA."


"Time Weighted Average exposure concentration for a conventional 8-hr (TLV®, PEL) or up to a 10-hr (REL) workday and a 40-hr workweek."

US Clean Air Act

United States Clean Air Act. "The Clean Air Act is the federal law passed in 1970, and last amended in 1990, which forms the basis for the national air pollution control effort. Basic elements of the act include national ambient air quality standards for major air pollutants, hazardous air pollutants standards, state attainment plans, motor vehicle emissions standards, stationary source emissions standards and permits, acid rain control measures, stratospheric ozone protection, and enforcement provisions."


United States Consumer Product Safety Comission The CPSC "is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction.... The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children."

US Department of Commerce

United States Department of Commerce. "The historic mission of the Department is 'to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce' of the United States. This has evolved, as a result of legislative and administrative additions, to encompass broadly the responsibility to foster, serve, and promote the Nation’s economic development and technological advancement."


United States Department of Transportation. The mission of the DOT is to "serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future."


United States DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. "The PHMSA was created under the Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act (P.L. 108-426) of 2004. The PHMSA has public responsibilities for safe and secure movement of hazardous materials to industry and consumers by all transportation modes, including the nation's pipelines. PHMSA oversees the safety of the more than 1.2 million daily shipments of hazardous materials in the United States and the 64 percent of the nation's energy that is transported by pipelines."


United States Environmental Protection Agency. The mission of the EPA "is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people."


United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. "The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on October 17, 1986. SARA reflected EPA's experience in administering the complex Superfund program during its first six years and made several important changes and additions to the program."


United States Department of Agriculture. "In 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln founded the USDA, he called it the 'people's Department'. In Lincoln's day, 58 percent of the people were farmers who needed good seeds and information to grow their crops. Today, USDA continues Lincoln's legacy by serving all Americans. USDA remains committed to helping America's farmers and ranchers."


United States Food and Drug Administration. "The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health."

US Federal Hazardous Substances Act

The Federal Hazardous Substances Act requires that "certain hazardous household products ("hazardous substances") bear cautionary labeling to alert consumers to the potential hazards that those products present and to inform them of the measures they need to protect themselves from those hazards."

US Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)

The US Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) "requires chemical manufacturers or importers to assess the hazards of chemicals which they produce or import, and all employers to provide information to their employees about the hazardous chemicals to which they are exposed, by means of a hazard communication program, labels and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets, and information and training." MSDSs are also required for hazardous materials by other countries and groups of countries such as Canada, the European Union, Australia, and Japan.

US Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act

The Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act "mandates a voluntary standard (ASTM D-4236-88) as a mandatory labeling standard for art and craft materials."


United States National Institute of Environmental Health Services. "The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is one of the National Institutes of Health within the US Department of Health and Human Services. The National Toxicology Program is also headquartered on the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. Many people are helped each year by the medical and scientific research performed by the National Institutes of Health and the National Toxicology Program. NIEHS is the organization within NIH that studies the effects of the environment on human health."


United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.

OSHA and its state partners have approximately 2100 inspectors, plus complaint discrimination investigators, engineers, physicians, educators, standards writers, and other technical and support personnel spread over more than 200 offices throughout the country. This staff establishes protective standards, enforces those standards, and reaches out to employers and employees through technical assistance and consultation programs.

US Trade Representative

United States Trade Representative. "The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is an agency of over 200 people, a highly committed group of professionals who have decades of specialized experience in trade issues and regions of the world. They negotiate directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements, resolve disputes and participate in global trade policy organizations. They also meet with governments, business groups, legislators and public interest groups to gather input on trade issues and explain the president’s trade policy positions. The agency was founded in 1962 and has offices in Geneva and Brussels."


United States Toxic Substances Control Act. "The Toxic Substances Control Act, signed into law in 1976, provides EPA with broad authority to regulate chemicals and chemical substances whose manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, use or disposal may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment. TSCA covers all chemicals planned for production, manufactured, imported, or exported from the United States except pesticides, tobacco (or tobacco products), source material by-products or special nuclear material defined by the Atomic Energy Act and food, food additives, drugs and cosmetics covered under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act."

US TSCA Inventory

"EPA is required to maintain an inventory (known as the 'TSCA Inventory') of each chemical substance which may be legally manufactured, processed, or imported in the United States. The TSCA Inventory, which currently contains over 75,000 chemicals, provides EPA an important tool for identifying, prioritizing, and evaluating toxic chemicals and for developing a profile of the chemical industry in the United States."

WorkSafe Australia

"WorkSafe is a division of the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection, the state government agency in Western Australia responsible for the administration of work safety and health laws. WorkSafe undertakes a wide range of regulatory activities as well as industry and community awareness programs."

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