Global Harmonization System:

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1 Global Harmonization System: The Basics Alex Stone, Chemist Washington State Department of Ecology Background Full name: Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals Began in 1992 Objective Create a single, world-wide system to classify chemicals, to label chemicals and to create safety data sheets containing important safety information Coordinates efforts with numerous international organizations For example, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Currently being evaluated and implemented in the US EPA, OSHA, DOT, CPSC 1

2 Benefits Increases availability of information about safety concerns related to chemicals Decreases hazards posed by chemicals as they are transported around the world Increases protection of human health and the environment Source of information for governments and other interested parties Facilitating international trade Promoting consistency in regulatory requirements Increased information Identifies criteria against which chemicals must be evaluated Increases amount of information available on all chemicals Helps to address some of the regulatory weaknesses in the US on chemical policy Prioritized hazards by ranking seriousness of hazard Increases likelihood of identifying hazards associated with chemicals Requires information to be placed into Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Toxicity information also given more emphasis in SDS Information then available for other purposes Regulatory Safer chemical alternative assessment 2

3 Safety Data Sheet Safety Data Sheet (cont.) 3

4 Safety Data Sheet (cont.) Implementation Emphasis on assessing hazards chemicals pose Detailed guidance provided Hazard and toxicity criteria Details on how to handle mixtures Specific methodologies for each hazard and toxicity criteria Defers to existing methodologies (OECD, for example) Ranges to assign category Emphasis on assessing hazards chemicals pose Placards assigned based upon this information and play a pivotal role in GHS 4

5 Criteria 1. Physical hazards Explosivity, flammability (liquids, solids, gases and aerosols), oxidizing gases, gases under pressure, self-reactive substances and mixtures, pyrophoric liquids and solids, self-heating substances and mixtures, substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases, oxidizing liquids and solids, organic peroxides, corrosivity to metals 2. Health Hazards Acute toxicity, skin corrosion/irritation, serious eye damage/eye irritation, respiratory or skin sensitization, germ cell mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, specific target organ toxicity (both single and repeated dose exposure) and aspiration hazard 3. Environmental Hazards Acute and chronic aquatic toxicity Flammability: Safety Data Sheet- Formaldehyde 5

6 Acute Toxicity Safety Data Sheet- Formaldehyde Skin corrosion/irritant Safety Data Sheet- Formaldehyde 6

7 Eye irritant/damage Respiratory/skin irritant Safety Data Sheet- Formaldehyde 7

8 Mutagenicity Carcinogenicity Safety Data Sheet- Formaldehyde 8

9 Reproductive Toxicity Reproductive Toxicity (cont.) 9

10 Organ Toxicity-single dose Organ Toxicity-single dose (cont.) 10

11 Organ Toxicity-repeated dose Organ Toxicity-repeated dose (cont.) 11

12 Aspiration Criteria Aquatic Toxicity 12

13 Aquatic Toxicity (cont.) 13

14 Summary Positives: 1. Increased emphasis on the need for data to evaluate hazards chemicals pose 2. Hazard information more visible and easier to understand 3. International therefore standardizes the methods and criteria 4. Endorsed by most countries in the world Most manufacturers already have to meet these requirements 5. Makes data available for other uses Summary Negatives: 1. Complicated and not always easy to understand 2. Information just beginning to be released so not available for all chemicals 3. Format for data on Safety Data Sheets can vary 4. US slow to implement although more emphasis has been placed on GHS over the last year 14

15 Further Information: United Nations: EPA website: UN Presentation on GHS: ing%20presentations/rosa%20garcia%20cuoto_ghs_unep_scoping%20meeting.pdf 15

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