Significance of 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 with the aim of achieving several objectives.
This mainly protects the employees who store, process and transports the chemicals. Another aim of this is to safeguard the environment. A common classification enables the proper identification of chemicals and an indication of their hazardous levels. Initially, some countries had no methods of classification. Other countries had classification methods that were different from 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 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. This also considers the effect of the chemical reacting with air, water, and other chemicals. GHS SWDS hence aims at protecting the user as well as the people who are in the production, storage and transportation of the chemical. 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 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. If the container is open, the manufacturer should ensure that the data sheets are readily available to the workers who handle this chemical.
GHS does not use a uniform method of testing. it relies on the tests that are conducted by internationally accepted agencies. Such agencies include OECD or WHO. The tests contain information on environmental as well as health hazards. UNSCETDG tests are used for flammability, explosives, and other physical hazards. GHS makes use of the data available. When new data come in place, it also incorporates it. Manufacturers and distributors therefore ought to 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 also has a lot of anomalies and exceptions. With this, it is required that it is experts who should prepare GHS and SDS labels that are fully compliant. The experts will also guard the proprietary formulations as they take care of exceptions and anomalies.