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.
One objective of doing this is to protect the health of people who transport, store and process chemicals. Another objective is to protect the environment. A common classification enables the proper identification of chemicals and an indication of their hazardous levels. 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 main aim of the study was to address the impartialities in classification. It was meant at bringing uniformity in classification and categorization while ensuring that the protection levels are still high.
The classification considers the hazardous properties of the chemicals and the chemical 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 faced a lot of revisions. 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. If the container is open, the manufacturer should ensure that the data sheets are readily available to the workers who handle this chemical.
GHS has no uniform testing method. It makes use of tests done by internationally accepted agencies. Such agencies include OECD or 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. It also incorporates new data when it comes in place. Manufacturers and distributors should therefore keep these changes in mind. There is no need for labeling some chemicals. These include pesticides such as rodenticide and fungicides since they fall under special acts.
As seen above, GHS has been substantial in bringing uniformity in categorization and classification of chemicals. 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.