Aims of the GHS Safety Data Sheets.
Many countries across the world have adopted the United Nation’s Globally harmonized system of labeling and classifying chemicals. This is done with the aim of achieving several objectives.
One objective of doing this is to protect the health of people who transport, store and process chemicals. protecting the environment is another objective. A uniform classification system enhances the proper identification of the chemical’s hazardous levels. Initially, some countries had no methods of classification. Other countries on the other had different methods of chemical classification. This confused when handling the chemicals as well as an increase in chemical risk levels.
GHS safety data sheets were made from a big study. The study was meant to solve the classification differences. It aimed at unifying the classification an as well as the categorization while ensuring that the protection levels were still high.
The classification takes into account the intrinsically hazardous properties of individual chemicals and their formulation. It also takes into account the reactivity of the chemical with other chemicals, air, and water. 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 went through various revisions over years. GHS provides for the complete exposure of the hazardous content without hiding anything even if the information is confidential or could affect any 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.
In case a distributor or an importer receives a sealed chemical container, it is his or her duty to make sure that the labels are 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 have a uniform testing method. it relies on the tests that are conducted by internationally accepted agencies. Such agencies include OECD or WHO. The information is usually about health and environmental hazards. In the case of physical hazards such as flammability and explosives, one may refer to UNSCETDG tests. GHS makes use of the data available. When new data come in place, it also incorporates it. Manufacturers and distributors therefore ought to keep these changes in mind. Some chemicals do not need to be labelled. Such chemicals are pesticides such as fungicides and rodenticide.
As it is evident above, GHSD has a lot of benefits in chemical classification and categorization. It is also widely complex with exceptions and anomalies. With this, it is required that it is experts who should prepare GHS and SDS labels that are fully compliant. The professionals also take care of the exemptions as they gourd proprietary formulations.