GHS

Globally Harmonized System of Classification a...

GHS – Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

 

Chemicals are moving around the globe in transport chain. From production plants to packaging/handling, into trucks, rail wagons, shipping containers. These chemicals have various uses like pesticides, fertilizers, life science chemicals and are very essential to the society. However they pose a real danger for human health and the environment if not handled correctly. People of different age groups, from elderly people to children from various social backgrounds and various languages, even some illiterates are being confronted to these dangerous chemicals.

 International experts recognized that an internationally harmonized approach to classification and labelling would provide a guidance to ensure the safe use, transport and disposal of such chemicals and once countries have full and correct information on chemicals they manufacture, export or import they can establish an infrastructure to control the exposure to chemicals and thus protect people and the environment.

The new system, “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)”, deals with classification of chemicals by their types of hazard and proposes harmonized hazard communication elements, which includes labels and safety data sheets. This ensures that information of physical hazard and toxicity of chemicals are available to all in order to enhance the protection of people and the environment during transport and use of these chemicals. GHS make a basis for harmonization of different rules and regulations for handling and transport of chemicals at national, regional and international level thus increase the safety and also trade facilitation.

Various regulations, such as IMDG Code, 49 CFR, Road, Rail & River rules on transport of dangerous goods are being aligned to be harmonized with GHS.

Various countries have already adopted and many countries are currently in the process of implementing GHS.    This revolutionary model regulations is going to become the standard for classification and hazard communication for

Dangerous Consumer Products    –    Pesticides –  Dangerous Goods Transport    –    Dangerous Chemicals at work place, etc.

For the transport of dangerous goods, the GHS is implemented through the “UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Model Regulations” and the following transport legal international instruments:

Amendment 35-10 of IMDG code, which will become mandatory from 1st Jan 2012, is harmonized with GHS (Revision 3) as showed in below table

GHS hazards addressed in transport regulations

IMDG Code Amend 35-10

Chapter 2.1: Explosives

Class 1

Divisions 1.1 to 1.6

Already applicable

Chapter 2.2: Flammable gases

(Class 2, Division 2.1)

Category 1

Already applicable

Category 2

Not applicable

Chapter 2.3: Flammable aerosols

(Class 2)

Category 1

Already applicable

Category 2

Already applicable

Chapter 2.4: Oxidizing gases

(Division 2.2 gases)

Category 1

Already applicable

Chapter 2.5: Gases under pressure

(Class 2)

Compressed gases

Already applicable

Liquefied gases

Already applicable

Refrigerated liquefied gases

Already applicable

Dissolved gases

Already applicable

Chapter 2.6: Flammable liquids

(Class 3)

Category 1

Already applicable

Category 2

Already applicable

Category 3

Done

Category 4

Not applicable

Chapter 2.7: Flammable solids

(Class 4, Division 4.1)

Category 1

Already applicable

Category 2

Already applicable

Chapter 2.8: Self-reactive substances

(Class 4, Division 4.1)

Types A to G

Already applicable

Chapter 2.9: Pyrophoric liquids

Class 4, Division 4.2)

Category 1

Already applicable

Chapter 2.10: Pyrophoric solids

Class 4, Division 4.2)

Category 1

Already applicable

Chapter 2.11: Self-heating
substances

(Class 4, Division 4.2)

Category 1

Already applicable

Category 2

Already applicable

Chapter 2.12: Substances which,
in contact with water, emit
flammable gases

(Class 4, Division 4.3)

Category 1

Already applicable

Category 2

Already applicable

Category 3

Already applicable

Chapter 2.13: Oxidizing liquids

(Class 5, Division 5.1)

Category 1

Already applicable

Category 2

Already applicable

Category 3

Already applicable

Chapter 2.14: Oxidizing solids

(Class 5, Division 5.1)

Category 1

Already applicable

Category 2

Already applicable

Category 3

Already applicable

Chapter 2.15: Organic peroxides

(Class 5, Division 5.2)

Types A to G

Already applicable

Chapter 2.16: Corrosive to
metals

Class 8

Category 1

Already applicable

Chapter 3.2: Skin corrosion

Class 8

Subcategory: 1A

Already applicable

Subcategory: 1B

Already applicable

Subcategory: 1C

Already applicable

Chapter 3.1: Acute toxicity
(Liquids and solids)

Class 6 (Division 6.1)

Category 1

Done

Category 2

Done

Category 3

Done

Category 4

Not applicable

Category 5

Not applicable

Chapter 3.1: Acute toxicity
(Gases)

Division 2.3

Category 1

Done

Category 2

Done

Category 3

Done

Category 4

Not applicable

Category 5

Not applicable

Chapter 4.1: Environmental
hazards

Class 9

Acute 1

Done

Acute 2

Not applicable (see note g)

Acute 3

Not applicable h

Chronic 1

Done (see note e )

Chronic 2

Done (see note e )

Chronic 3

Not applicable (see note h )

Chronic 4

Not applicable (see note h)

 

e Classification as hazardous to the aquatic environment of substances which belong to classes 1 to 8 or are classified under class 9 entries (other than UN Nos.3077 or 3082) and related

marking, became mandatory as from 1 January 2011.”

g) Categories addressed only for carriage in very large quantities (sea-going chemical tankers). The GHS criteria have been taken into account in the IMO criteria for the evaluation of safety and pollution hazards of chemicals in the context of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code) and Annex II to the MARPOL 73/78 Convention (See also GESAMP Report and Studies No.64, available on the IMO public website http://gesamp.imo.org/publicat.htm.”

h) Categories addressed only for carriage in very large quantities (inland navigation tank-vessels)

Table and notes sourced from UNECE

This blog will further expand with FAQ such as below regarding GHS

•           What is the need for GHS?

•           Development of GHS

•           Scope and application of the GHS

•           Classification under GHS

•           Warning symbols and labels

•           Physical Hazard

•           Health Hazard

•           Environmental Hazard

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