By: Ashley Thompson, Regulatory Consultant
Similar to the Canadian CCCR, the United States has specific requirements for the labeling of consumer chemical products. These regulations are governed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA). The CPSC is responsible for regulating the sale and manufacture of many consumer products, banning dangerous consumer products, and recalling products from the shelves that do not meet their requirements.
Products are classified based mainly on toxicity, corrosivity, flammability, and pressurized/not pressurized criteria, but CPSC also takes into account a variety of substances of special concern. These substances include poisons, aspiration hazards, and strong sensitizers.
The FHSA dictates what signal word (ie. Danger, Caution, or Warning) and hazard statements must be placed on a label, as well as precautionary statements for users; what they should do or not do in order to protect themselves. Additional statements can also be added, depending on how the product might be used or stored by a consumer. There are size requirements for all cautionary text depending on the degree of the hazard associated with the product.
There are some products that are considered so hazardous by the CPSC that they are banned for sale. These products include extremely flammable water repellents for use on masonry walls and floors inside homes, carbon tetrachloride and mixtures containing it, products containing soluble cyanide salts, and more.