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8/9/2004

[OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200] OSHA Toxic Chemicals


The OSHA hazard communication standard at 29 CFR 1910.1200 regulates chemicals that pose either a physical or health hazard to workers. Toxicity is one of the several OSHA health hazards that are frequently misunderstood. As defined in 29 CFR 1910.1200 Appendix A, a highly toxic chemical is one that falls within any of the following categories:

  • A chemical that has a median lethal dose (LD50) of 50 milligrams or less per kilogram of body weight when administered orally to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each
  • A chemical that has a median LD50 of 200 milligrams or less per kilogram of body weight when administered by continuous contact for 24 hours (or less if death occurs within 24 hours) with the bare skin of albino rabbits weighing between two and three kilograms each
  • A chemical that has a median lethal concentration (LC50) in air of 200 ppm by volume or less of gas or vapor, or 2 milligrams per liter or less of mist, fume, or dust, when administered by continuous inhalation for one hour (or less if death occurs within one hour) to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each

A “toxic” chemical is one that:

  • Has an LD50 of more than 50 milligrams per kilogram but not more than 500 milligrams per kilogram of body weight when administered orally to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each
  • Has an LD50 of more than 200 milligrams per kilogram but not more than 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight when administered by continuous contact for 24 hours (or less if death occurs within 24 hours) with the bare skin of albino rabbits weighing between two and three kilograms each
  • Has a median lethal concentration LC50 in air of more than 200 parts per million but not more than 2,000 parts per million by volume of gas or vapor, or more than two milligrams per liter but not more than 20 milligrams per liter of mist, fume, or dust, when administered by continuous inhalation for one hour (or less if death occurs within one hour) to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each

Work places with toxic or highly toxic chemicals (as well as any of the other OSHA physical or health hazards) are required to comply with OSHA’s MSDS, hazard communication plan, training, and labeling requirements.