Globally Harmonized System (GHS)
The United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is a system for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals.
The United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals was set up to replace the assortment of hazardous material classification and labeling schemes and provides a basis for globally uniform physical, environmental, health and safety information on hazardous chemicals.
The GHS covers all hazardous chemicals. There are no complete exemptions from the scope of the GHS for a particular type of chemical or product. The term “chemical” is used broadly to include substances, products, mixtures, preparations, or any other terms that may be used by existing systems.
The basic goal of hazard communication is to ensure that employers, employees and the public are provided with adequate, practical, reliable and comprehensible information on the hazards of chemicals, so that they can take effective preventive and protective measure for their health and safety. The GHS identifies the intrinsic hazards found in chemical substances and mixtures and conveys hazard information about these hazards. Hazard statements, symbols and signal words have been standardized and harmonized and form an integrated hazard communication system.
The GHS is a logical and comprehensive approach to:
- Defining health, physical and environmental hazards of chemicals
- Creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria
- Communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
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