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Globally harmonized system of classification & labelling of chemicals (GHS)

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GHS – an explanation

Chemicals – from production to handling, transport and use are a danger to humans and the environment. Labelling for usage and transit are of the upmost importance in order to avoid hazardous situations occurring. Globally; labelling will take the form of different languages and alphabets and will be directed at people of all ages with wildly differing literacy standards.

The new global system of labelling addresses the classification of chemicals by types of hazard and harmonises hazard communication elements, including labels and safety data sheets. It aims to ensure that information about physical hazards and toxicity from chemicals is clearly and understandably labelled to ensure protection of health and the environment during handling, transit and use of chemicals.

Labelling on chemical drums and other packaging of hazardous materials is often subjected to extreme conditions – whether that be sunlight, scratching, water damage or general handling abuse. GHS classifies how the label should look; but just how robust does the physical self-adhesive material need to be?

Opportunities for printers

With this new classification taking place right now there will be a spike in demand for robust self-adhesive material to print on. Understanding the directive and informing/working with your customers may result in print requirements for the strongest of digitally guaranteed labels.

The Durapaper label from Antalis is a digitally optimized synthetic label ideal for outdoor applications where weather resistance and durability are paramount. It is chemical resistant and waterproof and ideal for underwater applications. The product is certified BS5609 which is a British standard for marine use labels and ensures adhesive performance, print permanence and abrasion resistance.

For further information on the Durapaper label range from Antalis go to the d2b site – www.digital2business.co.uk/products

For further information on GHS go to www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/ghs/ghs_welcome_e.html


UN Economic Commission for Europe