GHS
GHS in North America and Europe – Where Are We Now?

Isn’t everyone using GHS for SDS’s and labels?

The answer to that is yes, and also no.

The European Union (EU)

In the EU, REACH [Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals] and GHS regulations [Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, or the ‘CLP’] have already been implemented for many years. Most phases of the EU’s implementation plan have already been completed. There is one last remaining date that has not yet passed, however, with respect to SDS’s and labels.

SDS’s and labels for pure substances are required to fully compliant with REACH and the CLP. The last transition date for pure substance SDS’s was completed on December 1, 2012. Any SDS and label for a pure substance after that date, had to be fully compliant with REACH and CLP regulations, and display only GHS information.

SDS’s and labels for mixtures, for products placed on the market in the EU for the first time after June 1, 2015, are also required to be fully compliant with REACH and the CLP, and display only GHS information.

Mixture SDS’s and labels, only for products already placed on the market in the EU for the first time before June 1, 2015, however, may still show old system EU information. These SDS’s and labels for mixtures, may still display the EU’s old system Continue Reading…

What is REACH?

REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and restriction of Chemicals. This United Nations (UN) law took effect June 1, 2007 and falls under the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency). REACH requires the registration of approximately 30,000 chemical substances produced in or imported into the European Union (EU). It places greater responsibility on industry to develop information on and manage the risks that chemicals may pose to human health and the environment.

The main goals of REACH are to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, the promotion of alternative test methods, and the free circulation of substances on the internal market and enhancing competitiveness and innovation. REACH places the burden of proof on companies. To comply with the regulation, companies must identify and manage the risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market in the EU. They have to demonstrate to ECHA how the substance can be safely used, and they must communicate the risk management measures to the users.

REACH impacts on a wide range of companies across many sectors, even those who may not think of themselves as being involved with chemicals, Including: Chemical Manufacturers, Importers, downstream users (customers) and companies outside the EU. The responsibility for fulfilling the requirements of REACH, such as pre-registration or registration lies with the importers established in Continue Reading…