Each year as we work though our planning, we think about the regulations or regulatory themes that we want to watch during the year. Our list is by no means comprehensive, but it includes items that are interesting for various reasons.

Our 2024 list includes:  

  1. GHS updates: EU CLP updates, OSHA GHS, Canada GHS, etc. 
  2. PFAS: Keeping up with global changes 
  3. Consumer-product regulations: Updates to Canada consumer labeling, EU detergents regulations, etc. 
  4. India: Implementation of GHS and chemical registration 
  5. European Union: Ongoing changes to the poison centre notifications 

Watch for a series of blogs that go into much greater detail on these topics; we’ll publish these throughout the year. And for a refresher on the acronyms, please see the table at the end of this article. Now, let’s take a look at why we think these particular regulations are interesting. 

GHS updates: EU CLP updates, OSHA GHS, Canada GHS, etc.

GHS updates may seem like a routine type of change in the life of a product steward, but the regulators have been giving us something to think about in these updates. While those of us in this arena have long played with the acronym of GHS (generally harmonized system?), regulators seem to be moving further and further away from the harmonized part. 

The “purple book” provided a great template for countries/regions to set up a system for hazard communication. In the beginning there seemed to be a lot of compromise and discussion around what to include. Then the EU added additional hazard phrases (i.e., EUH phrases); the U.S. and Canada added their own hazard classes (which they now must harmonize with what the U.N. implemented); and we have the new CLP update with the addition of hazard classes for endocrine disruptors PBT, vPvB, PMT and vPvM. Regulators have decided not to wait for the U.N. to implement these hazards, and we are curious about where this trend will lead. 

In addition, in the EU there is now overlap between CLP and REACH on hazards and the definition of those hazards. This is very important as we look at how to meet the requirements of both regulations while clearly communicating what the hazards are. 

At one time we might have thought life after GHS would be boring, but that has turned out not to be the case. We continue to live in interesting times. 

PFAS: keeping up with global changes

New headlines about PFAS and related regulatory updates seem to surface daily. Some of these are simple and list-based, with their implementation being folded into existing regulations.   

Others are not so easy as we move toward regulating PFAS as a group using various definitions. As an example, we have TSCA 8(a)(7). TSCA implemented the following definition: 

  • PFAS is defined as including at least one of these three structures: 
    • R-(CF2)-CF(R’)R’’, where both the CF2 and CF moieties are saturated carbons 
    • R-CF2OCF2-R’, where R and R’ can either be F, O or saturated carbons 
    • CF3C(CF3)R’R’’, where R’ and R’’ can either be F or saturated carbons 

The EU implemented a different definition, however they harmonized(!) it with the OECD definition: 

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are defined as any substance that contains at least one fully fluorinated methyl (CF3-) or methylene (-CF2-) carbon atom (without any H/Cl/Br/I attached to it). 

The EU has not yet finalized their regulation, and given the number of comments received, it might take a bit of time. 

We will continue to monitor this and provide updates as we learn more and find solutions to help organizations with their regulatory pains. 

Consumer product regulations: updates to Canadian regulations, EU detergents regulations, etc.

Consumer–product regulations are also being reviewed, with Canada looking to align with GHS for its consumer products. The comment period for Canada’s proposed changes is now closed, but it will be interesting to see how this will move forward and whether there are any implications for U.S. regulations, as there are currently no proposed changes to CPSC. 

The EU detergents regulation is also getting an update. Regulators are proposing to streamline the labeling requirements, while including the ability to use digital labeling in certain cases. In addition, the European Commission is looking to regulate the use of micro-organisms in products to ensure consumers are adequately informed, while protecting health and the environment. 

India: implementation of GHS and chemical registration

We are still waiting for this regulation to be finalized. The India Chemical Management and Safety Rules are still under draft, but as this is such a large market, we are asked about it routinely. This year we will be taking another look at the fifth draft, so we are ready when it becomes final. 

European Union: ongoing changes to the poison centre notifications

Why is this still a regulation to watch? While the regulation was published a while ago, we are still interested in this due to the amount of ongoing maintenance that is involved. 

As IUCLID updates, the PCN format also changes. Those who rely on software that uses system-to-system to submit dossiers must be careful about when their software updates and when IUCLID retires the old format. Regular maintenance of the system will be needed to prevent disruptions. 

In addition, CLP updates can also have an impact on submissions, particularly because of the new hazard classes that have been added. While making plans to update safety data sheets, product stewards must make sure to update PCN dossiers at the same time. 

There is never a dull moment when working with regulations. There is always something new and interesting to work through, and this year is no exception to that. We look forward to continuing the conversation about these topics and maybe some others, depending on what the year brings. In 2024, we wish you health, happiness and labels that always print as expected!  

Are you ready for these regulatory updates? We are. Talk to an expert or download our brochure and learn how our team of 41 regulatory industry experts will be here for you before, during and after these updates. 

CLP  Classification, Labelling and Packaging 
CPSC  Consumer Product Safety Commission 
EUH  EU Hazard  
GHS  Globally Harmonized System 
IUCLID  International Uniform Chemical Information Database 
OSHA  Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
PBT  Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic 
PCN  Poison Centre Notification 
PFAS  Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances 
PMT  Persistent, Mobile and Toxic 
REACH  Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals 
TSCA  Toxic Substances Control Act 
vPvB  Very Persistent and Very Bioaccumulative 
vPvM  Very Persistent and Very Mobile 

Latest insights from Sphera


Mountain bikers ride along grassy mountain ridge

Schwalbe: Driving change in the bicycle industry

Schwalbe Tires is a sustainability trailblazer. The German-based company uses Sphera LCA for Experts to calculate the CO2…
June 27, 2024
WO 193 Sustainable Product Development Using Life Cycle Assessment-hero

Sustainable Product Development Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Watch our webinar and hear from Sphera’s experts: LCA Automation Webinar.
June 13, 2024
Supervisor working at a distribution warehouse and reading documents on a clipboard

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard: What’s changed

This blog will go through the changes, some issues in the published standard and important items for you…
June 10, 2024