Chemical Labels play an essential role in the communication of the dangers and precautions required when handling hazardous substances.
Chemicals are a blessing and a curse. We are made of chemicals and are surrounded by a beautiful world made up of chemicals. Naturally occurring chemicals can also be some of the most dangerous ones like arsenic.
Man made industrial chemicals convert raw materials like oil, natural gas, air, water, metal and mineral into more than 70,000 different products. Polymer and plastics comprises of 80% of the industries worldwide output. Major industry customers include rubber, plastic, textile, pulp and paper and primary metal. Many chemical products can be hazardous to human health and the environment.
Before chemicals are placed onto the market, the risks of the chemicals to human health and the environment must be established and classified in line with the identified hazards. These hazardous chemicals must then be labelled using a standardised system so that workers and consumers know about the risks before they handle the chemicals. The hazards are displayed through pictograms and standard statements.
On 20 January 2009 the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulation was introduced. The CLP replaced two previous legislations the Dangerous Substances Directive and the Dangerous Preparations Directive. The CLP is based on the United Nations Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
The CLP regulation ensures that the hazards of chemicals are communicated to workers and consumers in the European Union through classification and the labelling of Chemicals. The GHS deals with classification of chemicals and a communication system through labelling and data sheets globally. The GHS provides a basis for rules and regulations at national, regional and worldwide levels.