Aims of the GHS Safety Data Sheets.
A lot of countries around the world have started using the UN globally harmonized system for classifying and labeling chemicals. This is done to attain some objectives.
One aim of doing this is protecting the health of workers who process, store and transport chemicals. Another objective is to protect the environment. A common classification enables the proper identification of chemicals and an indication of their hazardous levels. Initially, some countries had no methods of classification. Other countries had classification methods that were different from others. 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 main aim of the study was to address the impartialities in classification. It aimed at unifying the classification an as well as the categorization while ensuring that the protection levels were still high.
The classification considers the hazardous properties of the chemicals and the chemical formulation. It also takes into account the reactivity of the chemical with other chemicals, air, and water. GHS SWDS hence aims at protecting the user as well as the people who are in the production, storage and transportation of the chemical. GHS went through various revisions over years. According to GHS rules, the content of the hazard should be properly disclosed without caring whether the confidential, as well as proprietary formulations, are exposed. 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. When the chemical container is open, the manufacturer should make sure that the information on the data sheets is available to the workers who handle the chemical.
GHS does not use a uniform method of testing. it relies on the tests that are conducted by internationally accepted agencies. They include OECD and WHO. The information in the tests consists of health and environmental hazards. It refers to UNSCETDG tests for physical hazards such as explosives and flammability. GHS makes use of the data available. When new data come in place, it also incorporates it. Manufacturers and distributors should therefore keep these changes in mind. For some chemicals, there is no need for labve4llinbg them. 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 is also complex with anomalies as well as exemptions widely. Experts are therefore required to prepare fully compliant GHS SDS labels. The professionals also take care of the exemptions as they gourd proprietary formulations.