Canada in process to adopt GHS Revision 7 in 2021

February 9, 2021

GHS Labels to be Updated with GHS Revision 7 for Hazardous Products – Chemscape Safety Technologies

The proposed amendments to Canada’s Hazardous Product Regulations (HPR) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 19, 2020.  The amendments will include updates made to the 6th and 7th revisions of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). The USA’s OSHA intends to update its Hazard Communication Standard 2012 from the current GHS Rev 3 at the same time. Globally, Australia and New Zealand are moving to GHS Revision 7 and the European Union has already done so. 

Canadian suppliers (manufacturers, sellers, importers) of hazardous products need to know that there are several changes to the way products are classified. The hazard communication including safety data sheets (SDS) and GHS labels of certain chemical products will need to be reviewed and updated accordingly.  

When the transition to GHS Rev 7 occurs, chemical suppliers will have a 90-day window to update and provide revised SDSs to the customers of the hazardous product(s). They will have a 180-day window to update GHS labels. 

What are the Changes to the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) based on GHS Revision 7?

Changes to GHS Rev 7 include: 

  • New and updated Precautionary statement(s) 

  • New hazard class: Desensitized Explosives and Pyrophoric Gases 

  • Changes to the following categories: 

    • Flammable Gases 

    • Flammable Aerosols 

    • Skin Corrosion/Irritation 

    • Oxidizing Solids 

    • Combustible Dusts 

    • Germ Cell Mutagenicity and Carcinogenicity 

Updates to the Flammable Gas and Pyrophoric Gases Hazard Classes

Hazardous products currently classified in these flammable gas classes will need to be re-evaluated and reclassified or renamed. Chemical suppliers need to review the criteria for each new hazard class to determine which one applies to their product. Both the GHS label and SDS will be affected by the change, as will the hazard and precautionary statements.  

  • Flammable Gas – Category 1 will be expanding to:  

    • Flammable Gas – Category 1A 

    • Flammable Gas – Category 1B 

    • Flammable Gas – Category 1A – chemically unstable gas A  

    • Flammable Gas – Category 1A – chemically unstable gas B 

  • Flammable Gas – Category 2 products will remain the same.  

  • Pyrophoric Gas – Category 1, it will be reclassified as Flammable Gases – Category 1A, Pyrophoric Gas.  

Updates to the Flammable Aerosol Hazard Class

This hazard class will now include flammable and non-flammable aerosols. The hazard class Flammable Aerosol will be renamed as Aerosol. No changes will be made to the classification criteria for Category 1 and 2.  

Aerosols – Category 3 (non-flammable aerosols) has been added. Aerosol products that are not currently classified under the HPR may fall under the requirements of this new hazard category and therefore classification, SDSs and chemical labels are required.  

Definition changes under the Health Classification

The definition of the following health hazard terms have been modified with GHS revision 7. SDS, GHS labels and chemical management processes will need to be updated accordingly. 

  • acute toxicity 

  • skin corrosion 

  • serious eye damage 

  • eye irritation 

  • respiratory sensitization 

  • skin sensitization  

  • reproductive toxicity 

  • germ cell mutagenicity 

  • carcinogenicity. 

What does the adoption of GHS revision 7 into HPR mean for chemical suppliers in Canada?

When Health Canada approves GHS Rev. 7 chemical suppliers will need to evaluate their hazard products against new classification criteria to verify the assigned classification, hazard and precautionary phrases as well as update their SDSs and product labels accordingly.   

Contact the team at Chemscape Safety Technologies today to learn more about our GHS Transition Solutions