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Bulletin BoardMay 19, 2006Contact us: chemwatch@chemwatch.nettel +61 3 9572 4700fax +61 3 9572 4777Emergency +61 3 9573 311270 Bambra Rd Caulfield NorthVictoria 3161 Australia*While Chemwatch has taken all efforts to ensure the accuracy of information in this publication, it is not intended to be comprehensive or to render advice. Websites rendered are subject to change.Arthur’s Advice LineUse Locator Icon to add chemicals to storesRather than going through to the MSDS and Labels screen, you can add to Stores as soon as the product appears on the hit list.Clicking the Locator icon beside a chemical in the search hit-list initially displays all the Stores which contain that particular material. It also brings up the store tool on the left hand side of the screen. By clicking the “+” on the store tool, the material can be added to any available store without moving to another screen.Hazard AlertBenzyl ChlorideBenzyl Chloride, chlorinated toluene, is a clear to yellowish liquid; melts at -39 C; boils at 179 C. It reacts vigorously with strong oxidants and water to produce hydrogen chloride. Its oxidation reaction produce benzaldehyde. It attacks many metals except nickel and lead in the presence of water. Benzyl Chloride is widely used as an intermediate for manufacturing organic compounds including benzyl alcohol, benzyl cyanide and other benzyl compounds used in the end applications of perfumery, dyes, pharmaceuticals, synthetic resins, photographic chemicals, warfare chemicals, penicillins, quaternary ammonium compounds, plasticizer and esters. It is used in fuel as a gum inhibitor. [1]Health Effects: [2]Acute Health Effects:• Contact can severely irritate and burn the skin and eyes with possible eye damage.• Breathing benzyl chloride can irritate the nose and throat• Breathing benzyl chloride can irritate the lungs causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higher exposures can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a medical emergency, with severe shortness of breath.Exposure to benzyl chloride can cause headache, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, irritability and loss of sleep.Chronic Health Effects:• Benzyl chloride may damage the liver• High or repeated exposure may affect the nervous system.Cancer Hazard:• Benzyl chloride may be a carcinogen in humans since it has been shown to cause thyroid cancer in animals.• Many scientists believe there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen.Reproductive Hazard:• Benzyl chloride may damage the developing fetus.Handling and Storage: [3]Keep in a tightly closed container. Store in a cool, dry, ventilated area away from sources of heat or ignition. Protect against physical damage. Store separately from reactive or combustible materials, and out of direct sunlight. Containers of this material may be hazardous when empty since they retain product residues (vapors, liquid); observe all warnings and precautions listed for the product.Personal Protection: [3]Ventilation System: A system of local and/or general exhaust is recommended to keep employee exposures below the Airborne Exposure Limits. Local exhaust ventilation is generally preferred because it can control the emissions of the contaminant at its source, preventing dispersion of it into the general work area. Please refer to the ACGIH document, Industrial Ventilation, A Manual of Recommended Practices, most recent edition, for details. Personal Respirators (NIOSH Approved): If the exposure limit is exceeded and engineering controls are not feasible, a half-face respirator with an organic vapor/acid gas cartridge may be worn for up to ten times the exposure limit or the maximum use concentration specified by the appropriate regulatory agency or respirator supplier, whichever is lowest. A full-face piece respirator with an organic vapor/acid gas cartridge may be worn up to 50 times the exposure limit or the maximum use concentration specified by the appropriate regulatory agency or respirator supplier, whichever is lowest. For emergencies or instances where the exposure levels are not known, use a full-face piece positive-pressure, air-supplied respirator. WARNING: Air-purifying respirators do not protect workers in oxygen-deficient atmospheres. Skin Protection: Wear impervious protective clothing, including boots, gloves, lab coat, apron or coveralls, as appropriate, to prevent skin contact. Eye Protection: Use chemical safety goggles and/or a full face shield where splashing is possible. Maintain eye wash fountain and quick-drench facilities in work area.1. http://www.chemicalland21.com/industrialchem/organic/BENZYL%20CHLORIDE.htm2. www.state.nj.us/health/eoh/rtkweb/0217.pdf3. http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/b1957.htmLegislationAsia PacificDefinition of a worker for workers compensation purposes amended 2006-05-03On 7 December 2005, the New South Wales Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2005 received royal assent to amend the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 and the Workers Compensation Act 1987 with respect to dispute resolution procedures, insurance obligations, workers, costs and compensation for back injuries; and other purposes. The bulk of the amendment will enter into force by proclamation.Enhesa Update, April 2006Enforcement of Joint Compliance Audit for Violations of TCCL2006-05-03On April 26, 2006, the Korean Ministry of Environment (“MOE”) announced that in combination with related authorities including Korean Customs Service, local self-governing bodies, etc., the newly created departments within the Basin and Regional Environmental Offices under the MOE would conduct wholesale compliance audits for the violations of the Toxic Chemicals Control Law (“TCCL”) to build up distribution order of chemical products in Korea. The audit will take place been May 2006 to November 2006 and be conducted by the Chemicals Management Departments, Environmental Supervision Units, National Institute of Environment Research (“NIER”), Korea Chemicals Management Association (“KCMA”),n Local self-governing bodies and Korea Customs Service. The audit will look at the importation and distribution of new chemicals prepared or imported without toxicity examination,importation of toxic chemicals without prior reports, importation of chemical substances without submission of Written Confirmation of Details or submission of false Written Confirmation of Details, handling toxic chemicals without registration of toxic chemicals businesses, submission of false reports on the amounts of chemical substances released from business places. Anyone found violating the Toxic Chemical Control Law will face criminal punishment or administrative fines prescribed in the TCCL.Chemical and Health Consulting Practice Group Email 28 April 2006Occupational Health and Safety Regulations for long distance truck driver safety enter into force.2006-05-03On 1 March 2006 the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Long Distance Truck Driver Fatigue) Regulation 2005 amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 entered into force in News South Wales. This introduces regulations to impose obligations on employers, head carriers, consignors or consignees who employ or contract with drivers of a heavy truck that transports freight long distance. The Amendment Regulation was made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 on 10 June 2005. Facts sheets are available on the Workcover New South Wales website regarding the new obligations.Enhesa Update, April 2006Africa & Middle EastConsumer Protection Bill makes way for environmental labelling, provision of information and product liability 2006-05-03On 15 March 2006 the Consumer Protection Bill in South Africa was published for public comment. The Bill would consolidate a large amount of fragmented consumer protection legislation into one Act and modernise and integrate consumer protection provisions. The Bill also aims to promote socially responsible consumer behaviour by requiring goods to be labelled with certain environmental information as well as the presence of certain hazards. Examples of information that would have to be provided include energy use of appliances, the presence of any genetically modified organisms, requirements for special handling or waste disposal, etc. Comments will be accepted until 26 May 2006.Enhesa Update, April 2006Draft Merchant Shipping Bill and Regulations would introduce requirements for safe containers 2006-05-03On 31 March 2006 the South African Maritime Safety Authority published the Draft Merchant Shipping (Safe Containers) Convention Bill and Regulations for public comment. The Bill and Regulations would transpose the International Convention for Safe Containers into South African law and will regulate the testing, inspection, approval and maintenance of containers used in shipping. Containers must be kept in a safe condition and in compliance with the requirements set out in Annex 1 of the Regulations, and have to bear a safety approval plate to this effect. Public comments will be accepted until 12 May 2006.Enhesa Update, April 2006EuropeRoyal Order on asbestos exposure adopted 2006-05-03A Royal Order on the protection of workers from the risks related to asbestos exposure was adopted in Belgium on the 16 March, 2006. It implements modified Directive 83/477/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work. The Royal Order applies to activities in which workers are or may be exposed to dust arising from asbestos or materials containing asbestos. It aims to strengthen the controls on asbestos and provide greater protection for maintenance workers in comparison with the few existing requirements on asbestos exposure contained in the General Rules on Labor Protection. These provisions are introduced in the Code on well-being at work, under Title V on chemical, carcinogenic, mutagenic and biological agents, Chapter IV “Particular requirements in terms of asbestos”.Enhesa Update, April 2006Consultation on a proposal for a Commission Directive on restrictions on the Marketing and Use of Mercury in certain measuring devices2006-05-03This consultation seeks views on a proposal to restrict the marketing of fever thermometers and other measuring devices intended for consumer use, such as manometers, barometers, sphygmomanometers, which contain mercury. The proposal is intended to amend the existing Marketing and Use Directive in order to contribute to a high level of protection of the environment and human health by preventing considerable amounts of mercury entering the waste stream. Mercury is highly toxic, persistent in the environment and can accumulate along food chains. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will finish on 21 July 2006.Defra News, 28 April 2006http://www.defra.gov.ukSwiss want united front on toxic chemicals 2006-05-03Switzerland is to push for closer cooperation in the fight against dangerous chemicals at the second conference of parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Geneva. The Swiss want one person to take charge of the secretariats of the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel conventions, which cover chemicals, pesticides and hazardous waste, to make them more effective. The treaty, which came into force two years ago, regulates the use and production of a list of 12 highly toxic chemicals, known as the “dirty dozen”. POPs remain intact in the environment for long periods and accumulate in living organisms. The secretariat of the Stockholm Convention is expected to submit its own proposals that include a common head for all three treaties and the integration of some services. The conference is also due to review compliance and enforcement rules as well as exemptions, including those covering the pesticide DDT, which features among the dirty dozen but is still used by some countries in the fight against malaria.Environmental Health News, 1 May 2006http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/First Global Agreement on Chemicals2006-05-03The European Union warmly welcomes the global agreement on a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAIM). This is the first global process promoting the sound management of all types of chemicals and not just specific groups of substances, as is the case in the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances. The agreement, which will be of particular benefit to developing countries, is made up of a Global Plan of Action envisaging 271 activities with strong emphasis on capacity-building and technical assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition in order to help them manage chemicals safely; and an Overarching Policy Strategy setting out objectives and a High-Level Declaration embodying a strong political commitment to the Strategic Approach. The SAICM aims to ensure that chemicals management all over the world is done in a manner that will help reach the target set at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development `to achieve, by 2020, that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to a minimisation of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.` As the High Level declaration puts it, SAICM represents a commitment “to achieving chemical safety and thereby assisting in fighting poverty, protecting vulnerable groups and advancing public health and human security”.Environmental Expert Newsletter, May 2006http://www.environmental-expert.comAmericaEnvironmental rule change blows up in face of EPA2006-05-03Last year the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a change to the reporting requirements for chemical producers and manufacturers by altering a form for companies reporting emissions under the toxic release inventory program, known as TRI. The agency said it would allow more reporting firms to use the short form to report low-level emissions of any one or more of some 640 toxic chemicals covered by the reporting rules. To make more of the some 23,000 regulated industrial facilities eligible to use the short-form report, the agency raised the reporting threshold for the short form from facilities emitting 500 pounds to 5,000 pounds per year. Previously, the short form was limited to emissions reports of less than 500 pounds. Companies eligible to use the short form still would be obliged to report its emissions-even if it were only one pound’s worth-but the short form does require less detail about the manner in which the emissions were made. The change, said the agency, would allow about one-third of reporting firms to use the short form, saving some 165,000 man-hours. Federal environmental officials said the proposed change was part of an ongoing effort to streamline reporting. Environmentalists didn’t see it quite that way. Led by the Environmental Working Group, they charged that the agency was giving polluters a free pass, allowing companies to stop reporting and hide emissions if they released less than 5,000 pounds. Industry officials such as from the American Chemistry Council, pointed out that the rule change would not eliminate reporting for emissions under 5,000 pounds. The agency also reiterated that the threshold change did not eliminate reporting of any emissions. Even so, the proposal has prompted California legislators to come up with their own TRI reporting program, a system that essentially would restore reporting criteria that the proposed federal rule change would alter. If the rule change goes ahead, other states might be prompted to follow California.ICIS Global News, 24 April 2006http://www.icis.com/NewsFDA: Breathing difficulties in children caused by the drug, Promethazine HCl 2006-5-03FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that cases of breathing problems, some causing death, have been reported to the FDA when the drug, promethazine HCl was used in children less than two years old. Parents and caregivers should also be careful and get a doctor’s advice about giving the drug in any form to children age two and older. The labeling on all products, brand name and generic, has been changed to reflect these strengthened warnings.Medwatch Update, 25 April 2006California City Ordered To Address Discharges Of Metals Into Sewer System2006-05-03EPA recently ordered the city of Ridgecrest, California, to investigate and address the discharge of metals to its sewer system. The order was issued after the city’s wastewater treatment facility applied sewage sludge with excessive molybdenum concentrations to city-owned fields to be planted with crops grown for consumption by livestock. “The city of Ridgecrest needs to develop an adequate source control program to prohibit excessive discharges of pollutants such as molybdenum to its municipal wastewater system,” said Alexis Strauss, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest region’s Water Division. Molybdenum is discharged as a waste product from cooling towers and other industrial sources. Ridgecrest’s wastewater plant serves the China Lake Naval Weapons Center as well as the town of Ridgecrest. The metal is used in the manufacture of high-strength alloys and in high-temperature steels. City officials reported in their annual sewage sludge report molybdenum levels of 92 parts per million. EPA’s limit for the metal in sewage sludge is 75 parts per million. Molybdenum levels in sewage sludge in most areas of California are between 5 and 20 parts per million. Cows that have consumed plants grown in soils with high molybdenum levels can suffer from molybdenosis, where the animal is unable to absorb sufficient copper from their food. This copper deficiency can cause growth and reproductive problems. When treated and processed, sewage sludge becomes biosolids which can be safely recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth, officials said. Only biosolids that meet stringent federal and state standards can be approved for use as a fertilizer.Water & Wastewater News, 26 April 2006http://www.wwp-online.comFDA: Oxygen cylinder regulators have found to burn or explode2006-05-03FDA and NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) notified healthcare professionals that twelve incidents have been reported in which regulators used with oxygen cylinders have burned or exploded, in some cases injuring personnel. FDA and NIOSH believe that improper use of gaskets/washers in these regulators was a major factor in both the ignition and severity of the fires, although there are likely other contributing factors. FDA and NIOSH recommend that plastic crush gaskets never be reused, as they may require additional torque to obtain the necessary seal with each subsequent use. This can deform the gasket, increasing the likelihood that oxygen will leak around the seal and ignite.Medwatch Update, 25 April 2006Risk Assessments - A New Legal Requirement For Federal Employers2006-05-03From December 14, 2005, a new risk assessment requirement comes into force in Canada under Part II of the Canada Labour Code. Under the new Hazard Prevention Program regulations, employers have a legal responsibility to conduct a risk assessment in their workplace, and to continually review and monitor the program. Conducting a risk assessment means taking a thorough look at your workplace to identify any objects, situations or processes that may cause harm, particularly to people. Armed with this information, an employer is better equipped to control or eliminate workplace hazards. A risk assessment allows you to determine what hazards exist in your workplace, who might be at risk, whether or not existing control measures are adequate, which hazards need immediate attention, and how to prevent injury and illness. The publication Job Safety Analysis Made Simple, developed by CCOHS and the Labour Program of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada offers guidance on how to do this. The Minister of Labour requires that employers submit a report, at least every three years, of how the risk management program is progressing. Health & Safety Report, April 2006http://www.ccohs.comFDA: Recommended safety steps required in the use of the COLLEAGUE Volumetric Infusion Pump2006-05-03The FDA is recommending that all healthcare providers take important safety steps when using the COLLEAGUE Volumetric Infusion Pump manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corporation. The COLLEAGUE pump has exhibited a variety of problems, including under-infusion, battery failures, false alarms and failure to alarm. Over the past year, Baxter has issued four urgent safety notices and recalls for COLLEAGUE infusion pumps. In addition to the recommendations made by Baxter Healthcare Corporation when using the COLLEAGUE Volumetric Infusion Pump, FDA is strongly recommending the following measures: - Do not use the COLLEAGUE pumps in situations where delaying or interrupting therapy in order to reprogram or replace a malfunctioning pump may be life threatening, if possible.- Have a contingency plan to mitigate any disruption of infusion therapy (e.g., have a back-up pump available). - Monitor patients and check the pumps frequently. - Report any problems as soon as possible to Baxter and FDA. - Consider evaluating other options for infusion therapy if yourfacility relies primarily or entirely on COLLEAGUE Pumps.Other short-term options that may be appropriate for certain IV therapies include gravity drip and flow control devices (e.g., buretrol, volutrol, micro tubing, and flow control tubing devices).Medwatch update, 28 April 2006FDA: Recall on NeutraGard 0.05% and NeutraGard Plus 0.2% Neutral Sodium Fluoride Anticavity Treatment Rinse2006-05-03Pascal Company, Inc. recalled all lots and all flavors of NeutraGard 0.05% Neutral Sodium Fluoride Anticavity Treatment Rinse and NeutraGard Plus 0.2% Neutral Sodium Fluoride Anticavity Treatment Rinse packaged in clear 160z plastic bottles. The products were recalled because they may be contaminated with Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia) bacteria poses little medical risk to healthy people. However, the bacteria may affect individuals with certain health problems like a weakened immune system or chronic lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. The effects of B. cepacia range from no symptoms to serious respiratory infections, especially in patients with cystic fibrosis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa may cause urinary track infections, respiratory system infections, dermatitis, soft tissue infections, bacteremia, bone and joint infections, gastrointestinal infections and a variety of systemic infections, particularly in patients with severe burns and in cancer and AIDS patients. Dental offices and consumers who have the product should discontinue use and destroy it or return the product to the place of purchase for further processing.Medwatch Update, 28 April 2006Pollution Caps Required By CWA Must Be Set As Daily Loads2006-04-03The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit criticized EPA’s argument that the language under the Clean Water Act for the establishment of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) left room for agency to establish seasonal or annual loads “Nothing in (CWA’s language) even hints at the possibility that EPA can approve total maximum ‘seasonal’ or ‘annual’ loads,” the court stated. “The law says ‘daily.’ We see nothing ambiguous about this.” Earthjustice, representing Friends of the Earth, brought litigation challenging EPA’s approach to setting pollution caps for the Anacostia River, which flows from Maryland through Washington, D.C. The Anacostia River has been classified as one of the dirtiest rivers in the country. Urban runoff, and an antiquated sewer system that releases untreated sewage water directly into the river during heavy rainfall events, have killed fish and harmed recreational activities in and around the river. Fishing and swimming in the Anacostia are not recommended due to high pollution levels. This case arises from the violation of two of the Anacostia’s key water quality standards. First, because the river contains many biochemical pollutants that consume oxygen, its dissolved oxygen level has sunk below the applicable water quality standard, putting the river’s aquatic life at risk of suffocation. Second, the river is murkier than the applicable turbidity standard allows, stunting the growth of plants that rely on sunlight and impairing recreational use. To remedy these violations, EPA approved one TMDL limiting the annual discharge of oxygen-depleting pollutants, and a second limiting the seasonal discharge of pollutants contributing to turbidity. In its arguments, EPA emphasized that, under the CWA, TMDLs must “be established at a level necessary to implement the applicable water quality standards.” According to the agency, “that Congress took the step of elaborating on what a TMDL should be is a strong indication that it was not using the word ‘daily’ as the exclusive expression of its intent on the question of how a TMDL should be established.” The court stated that as written, the CWA statute requires states to establish daily loads that also meet applicable water quality standards. “The existence of two conditions does not authorize EPA to disregard one of them,” the court found.Water & Wastewater News, 28 April 2006http://www.wwp-online.comEPA Develops Priorities For Great Lakes’ Cleanup2006-05-03The EPA has announced a new rule for determining how and where contaminated sediment will be cleaned up in the Great Lakes. Acting under the authority of the Great Lakes Legacy Act, the agency has outlined how projects will be identified, selected and evaluated to clean up the sediment and reverse the environmental harm to Great Lakes rivers and harbors. The cleanup of such “areas of concern” has been a priority of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration. Proposed funding for this effort has quintupled in four years. Congress appropriated $9.9 million in fiscal 2004, $22.3 million in 2005, and $29.6 million in 2006 for Legacy Act cleanups. The president has requested $49.6 million in the proposed 2007 budget. Additional funding comes from state and local partners, who contribute at least a 35-percent match for each project. A request for projects will be issued within 90 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register. Proposals may be submitted at any time. Contaminated sediment is a significant problem in the Great Lakes basin. The United States and Canada have designated 41 areas of concern. Water & Wastewater News, 26 April 2006http://www.wwp-online.com
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