Significance of GHS Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
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.
This mainly protects the employees who store, process and transports the chemicals. protecting the environment is another objective. 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 after a considerable study. The study aimed at addressing the differences 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 SDS were therefore developed in a way to protect those in the processing sector, storage, 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 significant area of training to employees about handling chemicals as well as putting the safety labels correctly.
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 have a uniform testing method. It makes use of tests done by internationally accepted agencies. Such agencies include OECD or 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 relies on available data. It also incorporates new data when it comes in place. Manufacturers and distributors should therefore keep these changes in mind. There is no need for labeling some chemicals. These include rodenticides, fungicides and other pesticides.
GHS has brought a lot of benefits in chemical categorization and classification. It also has a lot of anomalies and exceptions. Professionals therefore ought to prepare compliant GHS SDS labels. The experts also guard thee proprietary formulations when taking care of the exceptions.