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Effective December 28, 2017, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) replaced 5 current federal hazard categories with 24 new federal hazard categories used to report chemical inventories in the annual Hazardous Material Business Plan (HMBP). The HMBP requirement is regulated under the Unified Program Agency and reported in the California Environmental Reporting System. The change in federal hazard categories is a result of changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazardous Communication Standard (HCS) to conform to the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification (GHS). The table below summarizes these changes.

Existing Hazard Categories
Physical HazardHealth Hazard
Sudden release of pressure 


New Hazard Categories
Physical HazardHealth Hazard
Flammable (gases, aerosols, liquids, or solids)Carcinogenicity
Gas under pressure (compressed gas)Acute toxicity (any route of exposure)
ExplosiveReproductive toxicity
Self-heatingSkin corrosion or irritation
Pyrophoric (liquid or solid)Respiratory or skin sensitization
Oxidizer (liquid, solid or gas)Serious eye damage or eye irritation
Organic peroxideSpecific target organ toxicity (single or repeated exposure)
Self-reactiveAspiration hazard
Pyrophoric gasGerm cell mutagenicity
Corrosive to metalSimple asphyxiant
In contact with water emits flammable gasHazard Not Otherwise Classified (HNOC)
Combustible dust 
Hazard Not Otherwise Classified (HNOC) 

In June 2016, the GHS also dictated that the Material Safety Data Sheet be replaced with the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to harmonize the format and information. In addition, the GHS standardized hazard testing criteria and universal warning pictograms. Most Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) are requiring the updates to the SDS, standardized hazard testing criteria, and standardized universal warning pictograms as part of the March 1, 2018 update or the annual update date specified by the local CUPA.

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