Uniform labeling of chemicals thanks to the EU-GHS standard

What does the Global Harmonization System (GHS) mean for European chemical companies?

Because different regional systems exist to classify and label chemicals in trade and transport, chemical companies have to adjust their labeling to differnet markets in order to avoid fines and confiscations. The result is that a substance that in the U.S. was dubbed as "extremely toxic", that same substance was considered "slightly toxic" in the EU.

The EU standard should help to globally identify, classify and label chemicals in the same way. GHS symbolsThe introduction of this standard varies worldwide from country to country and also depending on the type of product the implementation date is different. This means that for some products the GHS standard took effect on 1 December 2010.

The European introduction of GHS meant labeling systems of chemical companies in Europe had to undergo the following changes:

  • Hazard and Precautionary labels (hazard statements and precautions) replaced according to the GHS standard (Regulation 1272/2008 (CLP)) the Risk and Safety indications of Substances Directive (Directive 67/548 (DSD) and 1999/45 (DPD)).
  • The law requires minimal label dimensions of the icons with respect to the package contents.
  • GHS introduces the signal words "danger" for the most dangerous category inside a class and 'warning' for the less hazardous category within that class.
  • The old icons with orange background are replaced with new icons in a red diamond. It is no longer allowed to use black diamonds nor to leave pre-printed red windows empty.

As a result label printers have ot either produce 2-colour labels or pre-printed labels with red diamonds should be available on the printers. Considering that the labels are exposed to very aggressive environments but always need to be legible, thermal printing is the most appropriate technology, although multicolour printing is not a given for standard thermal printers.

How can we then make available a 2-colour label? In need of consulting, software and hardware? PHI DATA® offers a solution for all sizes of labels compliant with the GHS standard.

Contact us now (0495/30.62.47 or rvc@phidata.be) for more information or an informal conversation.

Also watch our video on PHIDATA TUBE.