This article is brought to you by The Lawyers Weekly.
In many jurisdictions the public is concerned with groundwater contamination from fracturing. While many of the chemicals used are ones Canadians encounter in everyday life, there is no doubt that some may pose a risk to human health or the environment. Consequently, occupational safety and health laws require companies to disclose hazardous chemicals on a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
Canadian occupational health and safety laws require the disclosure of any hazardous products on an MSDS. Specifically, the federal Hazardous Products Act and the Controlled Products Regulations require suppliers of hazardous products to provide health and safety information on container labels and in MSDSs, including the chemical identity of the ingredients if it is over a specified minimum concentration.
However, under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA), trade secrets may be protected from disclosure on labels and MSDSs. Under the legislation, an applicant may file a claim with Health Canada for exemption of providing the chemical ingredient, its concentration and the name of any toxicological study that identifies the ingredient. An HMIRA registry number may then be used on the MSDS and label instead of disclosing the actual chemical or its concentration. In emergency situations, medical and emergency personnel may contact Health Canada to obtain the identity of the chemical.
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For more information on Trade Secrets and Proprietary information be sure to check out the Nexreg Webinar titled “Trade Secrets and Safety Data Sheets – US, Canada and EU” presented by Mike Moffatt Ph.D.