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Hazardous substances: Keeping up with labelling standards

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OSHA? Safety Data Sheet? GHS? hazard communication?

Across a number of industries, various definitions of hazards have been set in place and have continually changed in the passing of years. In addition, the method by which these definitions have been communicated also varies, necessitating a cross-industry attempt for standardisation.

Aimed to create a global standard, the Globally Harmonised System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) has evolved in ways that create challenges for chemical producers and shippers.

The United Nations adopted the GHS in 2003. OSHA's revised Hazard Communication Standard has presented manufacturers, formulators and distributors with the challenge of revising their Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and the product labels by June 1, 2015. These changes are based on the third revision of the GHS.

The evolution of the GHS has created some challenges, including the mandatory use of red colour, the potential need for multiple languages if shipping to other countries, various US state issues such as New Jersey's "Right to Know" that go beyond OSHA's requirements, and many other regional regulatory requirements for compliance in the global marketplace. The reality is that virtually every label for a hazardous chemical product is subject to change and in many cases will require changes on an ongoing basis into the unforeseeable future.

Definitions of flammability

This is replaced by a unified definition.

Definitions of flammability


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