Significance of GHS Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
Many countries in the world use the United Nation’s globally harmonized system of labeling and sorting out chemicals. This is done to attain some objectives.
This mainly protects the employees who store, process and transports the chemicals. Another aim of this is to safeguard the environment. A unified classification system enhances trace across borders and the proper identification of hazardous levels of different chemicals. In the past, some countries did not have any classification method. The countries that had classification systems classified their chemicals in a different way than others. This resulted in a lot of confusion in chemical handling and brought about risky situations.
GHS safety data sheets were made after a considerable study. The study was meant to solve the classification differences. 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 considers the chemical’s reactivity with air, water as well as other chemicals. GHS SDS was therefore made in a way to protect the people who are in the sectors of production, storage, and 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 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. They include OECD and WHO. The information is usually about health and environmental hazards. In the case of physical hazards such as flammability and explosives, one may refer to UNSCETDG tests. GHS relies on available data. When new data comes in place, it also uses it. Manufacturers and distributors should therefore keep these changes in mind. Some chemicals do not need to be labelled. These include rodenticides, fungicides and other pesticides.
As it is evident above, GHSD has a lot of benefits in chemical classification and categorization. It is also widely complex with exceptions and anomalies. Experts are therefore required to prepare fully compliant GHS SDS labels. The professionals also take care of the exemptions as they gourd proprietary formulations.