UNECE Publishes 8th Revision of GHS

In June 2019, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) published the 8th edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Here we review several of the key changes that accompany the latest revision.

New Changes

Revision of the GHS typically occurs every two years. Its publication outlines health and environmental hazards and harmonizes criteria for chemical classification. With the 8th revision, there are several important new changes.

  • New Hazard Category Related to Chemicals Under Pressure
    • New hazard statements have been included for chemicals under pressure:
    • Extremely flammable chemical under pressure: May explode if heated (Hazard Statement H282)
    • Flammable chemical under pressure: May explode if heated (Hazard Statement H283)
    • Chemical under pressure: May explode if heated (Hazard Statement H284)
  • New Precautionary Pictograms
    • Two additional precautionary pictograms have been included - one from the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE) and one from the Japan Soap and Detergent Association (JSDA). Both are focused on communication the message “Keep out of reach of children” (Precautionary Statement P102).
  • Classification Criteria Changes for Aerosols
    • Categorical classification of aerosols is to be based on three corresponding factors - flammability, heat of combustion, and relevant test results (e.g., aerosol foam flammability test, enclosed space ignition test, ignition distance test).
  • New Example for Labeling Sets or Kits
    • A new example relative to the labeling of sets or kits (“Example 10: Labeling of sets or kits”) has been added into Annex 7 of GHS. This example indicates methods for labeling where the supplier or manufacturer has concluded that not enough space exists to place all relevant information together legibly on each inner container (e.g., when multiple language representation is necessary, when the inner containers are small).
  • Added Annex for Dust Explosion Hazards
    • The addition of “Annex 11 - Guidance on Other Hazards Not Resulting In Classification” offers new information for the identification of dust explosion hazards and their contributory factors.
  • New Information on Skin Corrosion/Irritation Classification
    • New classification information has been added for skin corrosion and irritation, and for the application of in vitro/ex vivo information, including the following:
    • Table focused on skin corrosion criteria using in vitro/ex vivo methods (Table 3.2.6)
    • Table focused on skin irritation criteria using in vitro methods (Table 3.2.7)

Accessing Additional Information on the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals

Release of the latest edition of the GHS represents a significant development for the proper classification and labeling of chemical substances. Currently available in print, an electronic version is anticipated in the coming months.

To access additional information on the classification and labeling of an abundance of chemical substances, contact ToxPlanet and register for a Free Trial.