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The GHS:

A Globally Harmonized
System of Classification
and Labelling of
Chemicals
Andrew Fasey
andrew.fasey@ptkltd.co
m
Framing a
Future
Chemicals
Policy,

Why I am here
PTK Ltd: consultancy on regulatory chemicals issues
(e.g. REACH, GHS, SAICM)
European Commission (ENTR: 01 - 004)
author (1 of) of REACH
co-decision process (Council & EP)
implementation of GHS in EU

UK Government (HSE): international chemicals policy


author (1 of) of GHS: IOMC drafting group
policy on chemicals strategy White Paper
Acting head of UK delegation to IFCS III

European Commission (ENV chemicals unit: 94 97)


NONS, ESR, C&L

Presentation
Introduction what, benefits
The GHS Elements
Maintenance of the GHS
EU Implementation

What is the GHS?


Common and coherent approach to:
defining and classifying chemical hazards
communicating information on labels and
safety data sheets.

Underlying infrastructure for


comprehensive national chemical
safety programs.

Benefits of Harmonization
Countries, international organizations,
chemical producers and users of chemicals
all benefit.
Enhance protection of humans and
environment.
Facilitate international trade in chemicals.
Reduce need for duplicate testing and
evaluation.
Assist countries and international
organizations in the sound management of
chemicals.

The Scope of the GHS


All hazardous chemical substances
and mixtures.
Pharmaceuticals, food additives,
cosmetics and pesticide residues in
food not covered at the point of
intentional intake but will be covered
where workers may be exposed and in
transport.

Principles of Harmonization
The level of protection should not be reduced
as a result of harmonization.
The scope includes both hazard
classification criteria and hazard
communication tools (labels, SDSs).
Changes in all existing systems will be
required.

Principles of Harmonization
(cont.)
Not a testing system for health and
environmental hazards.
Target audiences include consumers,
workers, transport workers and emergency
responders.
Confidential Business Information (CBI)
should be protected.

The GHS Elements


Classification Criteria
Health
Environment
Physical
Hazard Communication
Labels
Safety Data Sheets

The GHS: Classification

Health & Environmental


Hazards

Acute Toxicity
Skin Corrosion/Irritation
Serious Eye Damage/Eye Irritation
Respiratory or Skin Sensitization
Germ Cell Mutagenicity
Carcinogenicity
Reproductive Toxicity
Target Organ Systemic Toxicity Single and
Repeated Dose
Hazardous to the Aquatic Environment

More to come

Physical Hazards
Explosives
Flammability gases, aerosols, liquids, solids
Oxidizers liquid, solid, gases
Self-Reactive
Pyrophoric liquids, solids
Self-Heating
Organic Peroxides
Corrosive to Metals
Gases Under Pressure
Water activated flammable gases

Definitions, test methods and


classification criteria based on
existing transport system

The GHS:
Hazard Communication

Labels
Safety Data Sheets

The GHS: Hazard Communication

Considerations
The needs of the different sectors
covered by the GHS vary considerably:
Workplace
Consumers
Transport
Emergency responders

Key Label Elements


Product identifier
Supplier identifier
Chemical identity
Hazard pictograms*
Signal words*
Hazard statements*
Precautionary information
*Standardized
Further harmonisation to follow

Pictogram shape and


colour
Transport - pictograms to have current
background and symbol colours.
Other sectors - pictograms to have a
black symbol on a white background
with a red diamond frame (black and
white OK within one country).
If transport pictogram appears, the
GHS pictogram for the same hazard
should not.

Transport pictograms

GHS pictograms

The GHS: Label Elements

Signal Words
Danger or Warning
Used to emphasize hazard and
discriminate between levels of
hazard

The GHS: Label Elements

Hazard Statements
A single harmonized hazard statement for
each level of hazard within each hazard
class.
Example: Flammable Liquids
Category Hazard Statement
1

Extremely flammable liquid and vapour

Highly flammable liquid and vapour

Flammable liquid and vapour

Combustible liquid

Role of the SDS


Provide comprehensive information
about a chemical substance or mixture.
Primary Use: The Workplace
Employers and workers use the SDS as
a source of information about hazards
and to obtain advice on safety
precautions.

Maintenance of the GHS


The UN Economic and Social Council
(ECOSOC) has international
responsibility and oversight of the GHS.
New parent committee responsible for
GHS and TDG
- Existing Subcommittee of Experts on
TDG (UNSETDG)
- New Subcommittee of Experts on the
GHS (UNSEGHS)

Maintenance of the GHS


Functions of the UNSEGHS:
To make the GHS available for worldwide
use and application
To make guidance available on the
application & implementation of the GHS
To prepare work programmes and submit
recommendations to the committee
To develop and improve the GHS

International Context
Rio, 1992 Chapter 19 of UNCED Agenda 21
Development by IOMC, to end 2001
UN CETDG/GHS agreed Dec 2002
UN ECOSOC adopted July 2003
IFCS II - operational by 2008
WSSD, Joburg operational by 2008

EU Implementation
WP: GHS to be considered as part of REACH
EM to the Directive amending 67/548/EEC, 29 October
2003 2003/0257(COD)
it is the intention of the Commission to propose the inclusion of the
GHS into Community Law as soon as possible

& more specifically


the Commission will come forward with the necessary proposals for
having it adopted at the same time as the final adoption of the
REACH legislation

EU Implementation Issues
Existing comprehensive C&L system
Substances (67/548/EEC)
Preparations (99/45/EEC)
Applies to all sectors (apart from transport)

Downstream legislation
30+ pieces affected
Major implications

REACH
Timing, implementation period
Part of or stand-alone

EU Implementation Issues
Non-GHS elements
GHSify or as now

Scope and building blocks


Annex I harmonised C&L
New EU MS
Competence
Commission or MS

European Commission proposal end 2005?

The GHS Document


http://www.unece.org/trans/dang
er/publi/ghs/ghs_rev00/00files_e.
html
The GHS Document: ST/SG/AC.10/30

Contact
Andrew Fasey
andrew.fasey@ptkltd.com
www.ptkltd.com