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Scheduling delegate's final decisions, March 2016

Scheduling medicines and poisons

17 March 2016

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1.14 Schedule 5 Paint amendment

Part A - Final decisions on matters referred to an expert advisory committee

1. Scheduling proposals referred to the November 2015 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling (ACCS#15)

1.14 Schedule 5 Paint Amendment

Scheduling proposal

The chemicals scheduling delegate has referred the following scheduling proposal for consideration by the Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling (ACCS):

  • In August 2015, a proposal was submitted to the delegate to consider amending Part 2 - 1.5.8 of the Poisons Standard to remove the labelling exemption for Schedule 5 paints and tinters.
Scheduling application

The reasons for the request were:

  • The applicant contends that the Part 1.3 exemption for Schedule 5 paints is masking the true hazards of oil based paints from the consumer market. With the introduction of Globally Harmonised System (GHS) the visual difference of how a tin of paint is marketed is getting larger and it is believed that this will lead industrial/professional users to use consumer products without adequate safety precautions as they appear safer.
Specific issues/questions raised by the delegate

The SPF requires consultation with the States/territories on amendments to Parts 1-3 of the Poisons Standard. At the time of referral, the delegate believed that such consultation could be achieved via referral to a meeting of the ACCS. The ACCS advice was that a more formal consultative proposal may be needed. The delegate had raised the following issues in the referral to the ACCS.

  • The applicant seeks to amend the current Part 2 Clause 1.5.8 exemptions so that all paints and tinters are labelled only in accordance with the GHS labelling provisions in workplace requirements contained in the Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals - Code of Practice - December 2011. This would have the effect of removing exemptions for paints containing Schedule 5 substances, and substituting label warnings statements depending on whether the paints contain substances in the First and Second Group of Part 2, Section 7 (formerly Appendix I).
  • The applicant's proposal essentially seeks to deliver a position where paint companies will label consumer products according to the GHS, claiming that there is no benefit in dual labelling/split filling products; and that paint companies will develop safer paints to avoid hazard statements/signal words occurring; and that consumers will be better informed in the risks that paints pose even if labelled according to the SUSMP.
  • The ACCS may wish to note that the matter of a potential conflict between labelling requirements under State-territory laws for consumer products and requirements under industrial laws have been previously addressed. Where there may be potentially overlapping regulatory requirements for dual use products (i.e. those with both workplace and domestic use) there has been agreement that dual use products must comply with the requirements of the SUSMP.

The delegate asked the committee the following questions:

  • Does the ACCS support the proposed changes to labelling provisions for paints and tinters? If so, what rationale does the ACCS propose in support of such a recommendation?
  • To what extent would proposed GHS labelling provide unambiguous additional information to consumers, beyond information currently required in the Poisons Standard.

If the ACCS does support the proposed amendment, what implementation date is proposed to allow for an orderly re-labelling of existing products?

Background

Currently paints and tinters that contain only Schedule 5 poisons are exempt from the labelling requirements of Section 1.3 of the Poisons Standard. As such, the predominate hazard information on a consumer paint tin is the Dangerous Goods information.

The paint industry is going through a relabelling exercise to meet the 1 January 2017 deadline for all industrial/commercial products to be labelled according to Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals as required by the model Work Health and Safety. GHS labelling information is more prominent than existing labelling requirements as it contains both written and pictorial hazard information.

Detailed claims against the requirements of the scheduling policy framework

In the paint industry, products are commonly split-fills where the same product is sold to both consumer and trade markets in different labelled tins. Looking at how a tin of paint will be labelled for the workplace vs a tin labelled for consumer the applicant believes that the difference is getting so large that a consumer may be provided with a false sense of security.

The applicant contends that, to the consumer, the paint looks "safe" just like the old fashion oil based paints, but to the worker the paint looks highly hazardous and full PPE and precautions are required. The applicant believes that the consumer will be complacent in it use and expose themselves to unnecessary risk and a worker will be more inclined to purchase consumer labelled products as they appear safer and will miss receiving appropriate hazard information.

The three outcomes that are foreseen by the applicant as occurring if Part 2 is amended as proposed are:

  1. paint companies will label consumer products according to GHS as there is no benefit in dual labelling/split filling products;
  2. paint companies will develop safer paints to avoid hazard statements/signal words occurring; and,
  3. consumers will be better informed in the risks that paints pose even if labelled according to SUSMP.
Scheduling status

1.5.8 Paints

  1. The requirements of Section 1.3 do not apply to:
    1. paint (other than a paint for therapeutic or cosmetic use) which:
      1. contains only Schedule 5 poisons; or
      2. is a First Group or Second Group paint that is labelled with:
        1. the word "WARNING", written in bold-face sans serif capital letters, the height of which is not less than 5 mm, on the first line of the main label with no other words written on that line; and
        2. the expression "KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN", written in bold-face sans serif capital letters, the height of which is not less than 2.5 mm, on a separate line immediately below the word "WARNING"; and
        3. the appropriate warnings specified for the paint in Appendix F, written immediately below the expression "KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN"; and
        4. the name and proportion of the First Group or Second Group poisons it contains, provided that where the substance is a metal or metal salt the proportion is expressed as the metallic element present "calculated on the non-volatile content" or "in the dried film" of the paint; or
    2. a tinter which contains:
      1. only Schedule 5 poisons; or
      2. a poison included in the First Group or Second Group in Part 2 Section 7, provided that it is labelled with the name and proportion of that poison, and where the poison is a metal or metal salt, the proportion is expressed as the metallic element present as "calculated on the non-volatile content" or "in the dried film".
Public pre-meeting public submissions

Two public submissions were received. There were no contentions with the application to amend Part 2, 1.5.8 Paints. Both submissions asked for a long implementation date to allow for any changes to labelling.

The public submission is available at Public submissions on scheduling matters.

ACCS advice to the delegates

The Committee suggested that the current scheduling of Schedule 5 Paints remains appropriate, although it declined to make a firm recommendation to the Delegate, pending the outcome of formal negotiations on scheduling policy issues related to amendment of Parts 1-3 of the Poisons Standard.

Delegate's considerations

The delegate considered the following in regards to this proposal:

  • Scheduling proposal;
  • Public submissions received;
  • ACCS advice;
  • Section 52E of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989;
  • Scheduling factors14;
  • Other relevant information.
Delegate's interim decision

The delegate has decided to defer making a decision on this issue, pending formal consultation with the States/Territories, as required in the new AHMAC Scheduling Policy Framework for amendments to Parts 1-3 of the Poisons Standard.

Public submissions on the interim decision

One submission was received. The submission supported the delegate's interim decision. Edited versions of public submissions are available at Public submissions on scheduling matters.

Delegate's final decision

The delegate notes the submission received in response to publication of the interim decision and confirms the interim decision as no evidence has been received to alter the interim decision. The delegate has confirmed that the reasons for the final decision are in keeping with those for the interim decision.


Footnotes

  1. Scheduling Policy Framework for Medicines and Chemicals (SPF, 2015)

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