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Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

Second Revised Edition

image of Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

The GHS addresses classification of chemicals by types of hazard and proposes harmonized hazard communication elements, including labels and safety data sheets. It aims at ensuring that information on physical hazards and toxicity from chemicals be available in order to enhance the protection of human health and the environment during the handling, transport and use of these chemicals. The GHS also provides a basis for harmonization of rules and regulations on chemicals at national, regional and worldwide level, an important factor also for trade facilitation. This second revised edition includes a set of new amendments.

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Purpose, scope and application of the GHS

The use of chemical products to enhance and improve life is a widespread practice worldwide. But alongside the benefits of these products, there is also the potential for adverse effects to people or the environment. As a result, a number of countries or organizations have developed laws or regulations over the years that require information to be prepared and transmitted to those using chemicals, through labels or safety data sheets (SDS). Given the large number of chemical products available, individual regulation of all of them is simply not possible for any entity. Provision of information gives those using chemicals the identities and hazards of these chemicals, and allows the appropriate protective measures to be implemented in the local use settings.

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