Dangerous substance


A friend of the ASI sent us a letter that he had received from a company after purchasing a product. It opened as follows:

You have recently ordered product(s) from XXXX which are subject to the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging) Regulations 1993. Where a product is classified as containing hazardous chemicals under CHIP legislation and the product is to be used in the workplace, XXXX is obliged to provide a safety data sheet on the first occasion a customer orders the product. Please ensure that the enclosed sheet(s) are held in a safe place for future reference by any staff using the product(s).

What follows are five sheets of ‘Product Safety Data Sheets’. Here are some extracts that might give you a clue as to the nature of this ‘dangerous substance:

  • “Prolonged skin contact may defat and dry skin leading to possible irritation and dermatitis. Eye contact may cause smarting and irritation."
  • “If contact of any material with the eye occurs, irrigate the area affected thoroughly with cold water."
  • "Skin contact: wash affected area thoroughly with cold water."
  • “If confined to the mouth, do not swallow; wash out the mouth with water… If swallowed, drink plenty of water and medical advice."
  • “Protective equipment is not normally necessary. Gloves should be worn where repeated or prolonged contact can occur. Avoid contact with eyes. Safety glasses should be worn".

At the end of five pages we learn that “this product data sheet was prepared in compliance with Commission Directive 91/155/EEC, 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EV as well as their relevant amendments, on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relative to the classification, packaging and labeling of dangerous substances and preparations".

So what is this dangerous substance that requires the full bureaucratic force of Brussels? Answer, Blu-Tack. Typical!