Objectives of the 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.
One aim of doing this is protecting the health of workers who process, store and transport chemicals. Another aim of this is to safeguard the environment. A uniform classification system enhances the proper identification of the chemical’s hazardous levels. In the past, some countries did not have any classification method. Other countries on the other had different methods of chemical classification. As a result, this led to a lot of confusion in handling chemicals and imposing risky situations.
GHS safety data sheets were developed based on an extensive 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 considers the hazardous features of the chemicals as well as 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. 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 significant area of training to employees about handling chemicals as well as putting the safety labels correctly.
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. 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 has no uniform testing method. On the other hand, it relies on the tests done by test agencies that are internationally accepted. Such agencies include OECD or WHO. The information in the tests consists of health and environmental hazards. UNSCETDG tests are used for flammability, explosives, and other physical hazards. GHS relies on available data. When new data comes in place, it also uses it. Therefore, distributors and manufacturers should keep these changes in mind. Some chemicals do not need to be labelled. Such chemicals are pesticides such as fungicides and rodenticide.
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 will also guard the proprietary formulations as they take care of exceptions and anomalies.