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Help! I just received a call asking for a safety data sheet on my zinc skimmings and dross. I have never been asked to supply one before. What do I do?

As the June 15th deadline for implementation of OSHAs 2012 Hazard Communication (HazCom) regulations approaches, more customers want to update their lists of safety data sheets (SDSs). Under the 2012 HazCom regulations, hazardous chemical manufacturers are required to provide employers and downstream customers with SDSs, instead of material safety data sheets (MSDS). Employers are required to have, maintain, and make available to employees the SDS or most recent MSDS from a manufacturer, importer, or distributor for each hazardous chemical in the workplace.

The 2012 HazCom regulations set requirements for SDSs and labels to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS is a cooperative international effort to create one consistent, standardized system for chemical hazard communication. The goal is to eliminate confusion associated with different countries using different symbols, formats, and processes so that everyone is familiar with and uses the same information for the same chemicals. The SDSs are now required to follow a specific 16-section format and include information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical. This format ensures consistency of information between different chemical manufacturers.

Zinc skimmings and dross are not hazardous chemicals. herefore, a SDS does not need to be provided. Regardless of the fact, inquiries about a SDS for these products will still occur. The AGA Technical Services Committee decided to develop SDSs for  hot-dip galvanizers' skimmings and bottom dross to provide the safety and health information even though it is not technically required. The AGA has prepared SDS templates for zinc skimmings (both wet and dry) and dross. To avoid confusion with other products, the terminology of "hot-dip galvanizers dry/wet skimmings" and "hot dip galvanizers bottom dross" should be used instead of zinc skimmings and dross.

In order for a company to use the SDSs, the templates need to be modified. The SDS templates are available in Microsoft Word to allow for easy insertion of company information. The yellow highlighted areas of the SDS template need to be changed with specific company information, such as company name, address, and contact person. Most of the company information that needs to be added is in Section 1. On the template there is also a space for product codes. If you do not have a specific product code for your skimmings or dross, this part of the SDS can be deleted.

In Section 3 is the composition of the hot-dip galvanizers dry/wet skimmings and hot dip galvanizers bottom dross. The information included in the composition table is a generic percentage range of zinc and zinc compounds. Your specific skimmings and dross composition should be used if you have that information. If you do not, then the values listed in the table can be used. The last highlighted section that needs information is in Section 16. All that is required is the company name.

The primary reason behind the SDS is to provide safety, health, and handling information on a hazardous chemical product. The SDSs developed for hot-dip galvanizers dry/wet skimmings and hot-dip galvanizers bottom dross meet all of the GHS requirements despite not being a hazardous chemical. The SDS templates are available on the Safety Data Sheets page

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