Aims of the GHS Safety Data Sheets.
Many countries in the world use the United Nation’s globally harmonized system of labeling and sorting out chemicals. This is done to attain some objectives.
This mainly protects the employees who store, process and transports the chemicals. Another aim of this is to safeguard the environment. A unified classification system enhances trace across borders and the proper identification of hazardous levels of different chemicals. Initially, some countries had no methods of classification. The countries that had classification systems classified their chemicals in a different way than others. This confused when handling the chemicals as well as an increase in chemical risk levels.
GHS safety data sheets were developed based on an extensive study. The study was meant to solve the classification differences. It was meant at bringing uniformity in classification and categorization while ensuring that the protection levels are still high.
The classification considers the hazardous features of the chemicals as well as their formulation. It also considers the chemical’s reactivity with air, water as well as other chemicals. GHS SDS was therefore made in a way to protect the people who are in the sectors of production, storage, and transportation, as well as the end user. GHS faced a lot of revisions. GHS provides that the hazard must be disclosed fully disregarding the confidential information or proprietary formulations. This is a key feature in training employees in the use of SDS and the right procedures relating to the chemicals handled and included in the safety data sheets as well as safety labels.
When an importer or distributor receives sealed chemical containers, they should ensure that the labels remain intact. If the container is open, the manufacturer should ensure that the data sheets are readily available to the workers who handle this chemical.
GHS does not use a uniform method of testing. it relies on the tests that are conducted by internationally accepted agencies. Such agencies include OECD or WHO. The tests contain information on environmental as well as health hazards. It refers to UNSCETDG tests for physical hazards such as explosives and flammability. GHS relies on available data. When new data come in place, it also incorporates it. Manufacturers and distributors should therefore keep these changes in mind. There is no need for labeling some chemicals. These include pesticides such as rodenticide and fungicides since they fall under special acts.
As seen above, GHS has been substantial in bringing uniformity in categorization and classification of chemicals. It also has a lot of anomalies and exceptions. Experts are therefore required to prepare fully compliant GHS SDS labels. The experts will also guard the proprietary formulations as they take care of exceptions and anomalies.