3 Lessons Learned: Chemicals

Posted by: headm on: November 8, 2015

Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Consistent Chemical Classification and Labeling The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals is a global scheme for the promotion of standard criteria for the classification of chemicals relative to the environmental, physical and health threats they bring. It makes use of pictograms and text, especially the words, “Danger” and “Warning,” to provide hazard information through product labels and safety data sheets in a simple, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive manner. The key goal of GHS is to enhance protection of man and Mother Earth by allowing chemical users and handlers to work with accurate and consistent guides in chemical hazard management. GHS Benefits 1 Provide greater protection for man and the planet Unfailing and extensive use of GHS will increase protection of human health and the environment via an internationally understandable comprehensible structure for hazard communication. GHS aids in promoting more regularity in the labeling and classification of chemicals, therefore improving efficiency of hazard communication. This enhanced communication system will signal to the user that a hazard is present, and that it is necessary to cut exposure and risk, paving the way for safer handing of chemicals.
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2 Promote sound chemical management globally
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GHS will form a synchronized basis for the initial step in the right management of chemicals, along with identifying and communicating hazards. This will be specifically beneficial for countries without reliable regulatory systems. 3 Help trade GHS will cut expensive and time-intensive multiple classification and labeling systems, paving the way for greater uniformity regulation and less non-tariff barriers to trade. Generally, the GHS makes way for trade benefits to the industry, and also enhanced health and safety outcomes through a transnationally coherent hazard communication program. What Does Hazard Communication Mean? Hazard communication is the process by which crucial information about the perils of chemicals and any safeguards needed to make sure that they are stored, handled and disposed of with utmost safety, is delivered to users. Under the GHS, hazards are made known to chemical users by combining words and symbols to create signal words, and through hazard and precautionary statements. All these are to be expected on the labels and safety data sheets. Pictograms The nine hazard pictograms included in the GHS are Explosive, Flammable, Oxidising, Gases under pressure, Acute, Toxicity, Health hazards, Corrosive, Chronic health hazards, and Environmental. Signal Words “Warning” and “Danger” are the two signal words which speak of the relative severity level of a particular hazard. “Warning” is used for less severe hazards while “Danger” is used for very significant hazards. Hazard Statements and Precautionary Statements Hazard statements are attached to a class and category that represents the nature of the chemical’s hazards, plus the degree of the hazard if appropriate. Precautionary statements are those that recommend steps towards minimizing the adverse effects of hazardous chemicals that have been mishandled.

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