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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 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 unified classification system enhances trace across borders and the proper identification of hazardous levels of different chemicals. Some countries had no method of classification before. 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 developed based on an extensive study. The main aim of the study was to address the impartialities in classification. It’s objective was to consolidate the classification and categorization standards while ensuring high safety measures.
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 were therefore developed in a way to protect those in the processing sector, storage, transportation as well as the end user. GHS was revised many times throughout. 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.
An importer or distributor who receives a sealed chemical container ought to ensure that the labels stay intact. In case the container is open, a manufacturer should ensure that the data sheets are easily available to the employers handling the chemical.
GHS has no uniform testing method. It makes use of tests done by internationally accepted agencies. Such agencies include OECD or WHO. The tests contain information on environmental as well as health hazards. In the case of physical hazards such as flammability and explosives, one may refer to UNSCETDG tests. GHS uses the data available. When new data comes in place, it also uses it. Manufacturers and distributors therefore ought to keep these changes in mind. For some chemicals, there is no need for labve4llinbg them. Such chemicals are pesticides such as fungicides and rodenticide.
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. Professionals therefore ought to prepare compliant GHS SDS labels. The experts also guard thee proprietary formulations when taking care of the exceptions.