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The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Richard Pont, adapted for 2003 North American Pesticide Applicator Certification and Safety Education Workshop Honolulu, Hawaii August 11-14, 2003. What is the GHS?.

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the globally harmonised system of classification and labelling of chemicals ghs

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

Richard Pont, adapted for

2003 North American Pesticide Applicator

Certification and Safety Education Workshop

Honolulu, Hawaii

August 11-14, 2003

what is the ghs
What is the GHS?
  • A common and coherent approach to defining and classifying hazards, and communicating information on labels and safety data sheets.
  • Target audiences include workers, consumers, transport workers, and emergency responders.
  • Underlying infrastructure for establishment of national, comprehensive chemical safety programs.
where we are now
Where we are now:
  • UNCED mandate (1992)
  • Tripartite negotiations for over a decade (completed in December 2002)
  • Stakeholder input continues to be vital as we begin to turn to implementation considerations
scope of the ghs
Scope of the GHS
  • Harmonization of major existing systems for chemicals in transport, in the workplace, pesticides and consumer products—without lowering the level of protection afforded by those systems
  • Classification based on intrinsic properties/hazards
  • Scope covers all chemicals
  • Consistent with U.S. regulatory framework
ghs goals
GHS Goals
  • To promote safer transport, handling and use of chemicals world wide
  • To facilitate international trade in chemical products by promoting greater consistency in regulatory requirements
  • To reduce need for testing and evaluation
  • To assist countries in developing strategies for sound management of chemicals
what should be harmonized
What should be harmonized
  • Classification criteria for physical hazards
what should be harmonized8
What should be harmonized
  • Classification criteria for physical hazards, health hazards,
health effects
Health Effects
  • Acute toxicity/lethality (oral, dermal, inhalation)
  • Skin corrosion/irritation
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation
  • Respiratory sensitization and skin sensitization
  • Germ cell mutagenicity
health effects continued
Health Effects (continued)
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Reproductive and developmental toxicity, lactation effects
  • Specific target organ/systemic toxicity (single and repeated exposure)
what should be harmonized11
What should be harmonized
  • Classification criteria for physical hazards, health hazards, and aquatic toxicity, for chemical substances and mixtures
  • Certain standardized label elements: hazard pictograms, use of two signal words (danger and warning), and hazard statements for each hazard class and category
  • [Product identifiers and precautionary statements]
  • Format and contents for Safety Data Sheets
what does not need to change to be consistent with the ghs
What does not need to change to be consistent with the GHS
  • Supplemental information
  • Testing methods and data requirements
  • Use of risk-based labeling for chronic effects for consumer products in the consumer use setting
  • Scope of hazards covered by national systems (“building block” approach)
  • Downstream effects
general implementation expectations
General Implementation Expectations
  • Voluntary international system—no binding treaty obligations on countries
  • Intent is that countries with existing systems will harmonize them to be consistent with the GHS and
  • Countries that do not have systems will adopt GHS as their basic system
  • To extent that countries adopt GHS into their systems, binding regulatory changes for industry
timing
Timing
  • No international implementation schedule
  • IFCS, WSSD goal of 2008; APEC goal of 2006
  • Different systems/sectors likely to require different time frames
  • Steps to avoid disruption will need to be considered in transition from old to new labels
next steps
Next steps
  • Analysis of existing policies and identification of differences between them and GHS, including “downstream effects” beyond hazard communication
  • Extensive internal and external outreach to raise awareness and seek input
  • Coordination with other agencies to maximize harmonization within the U.S. government
classification criteria for mixtures
Classification Criteria for Mixtures
  • Based on the classification criteria for substances
  • Allows for the use of available data
tiered approach to classification of mixtures
Tiered Approach to Classification of Mixtures

Generally use test data for the mixture, when available

Use bridging principles, if applicable

Estimate hazards based on the known

ingredient information

benefits of harmonisation
Benefits of Harmonisation
  • Countries, international organizations, chemical producers and users of chemicals all benefit.
    • Enhance protection of humans and environment.
    • Facilitate international trade in chemicals.
    • Reduce need for testing and evaluation.
    • Assist countries and international organizations to ensure the sound management of chemicals.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Development of the GHS has been a difficult and long-term process. The work that has been completed has required much discussion and compromise.
  • Implementation will also require a long-term effort and cooperation among countries, international organizations, and stakeholders at all levels.