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Objectives of the GHS Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
Many countries across the world have adopted the United Nation’s Globally harmonized system of labeling and classifying 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 unified classification system enhances trace across borders and the proper identification of hazardous levels of different chemicals. Initially, some countries had no methods of classification. The countries that had classification systems classified their chemicals in a different way than others. 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 main aim of the study was to address the impartialities 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 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 that the hazard must be disclosed fully disregarding the confidential information or proprietary formulations. This is a significant area of training to employees about handling chemicals as well as putting the safety labels correctly.
An importer or distributor who receives a sealed chemical container ought to ensure that the labels stay 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 does not have a uniform testing method. it relies on the tests that are conducted by internationally accepted agencies. They include OECD and WHO. The information is usually about health and environmental hazards. UNSCETDG tests are used for flammability, explosives, and other physical hazards. GHS makes use of the data available. 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.