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Global Harmonised System (GHS)

On 20 January 2009 the new Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures entered into force (CLP-Regulation). The newest consolidated version of the Öffnet externen Link in neuem FensterCLP-Regulation may be downloaded from the ECHA website.

The aim of the regulation is to provide worldwide harmonised rules for the classification and labelling of substances and mixtures for suppliers and the transport. The GHS-regulation replaces the European legislation for classification, labelling and packaging  of dangerous substances (Directive 67/548/EEG) and preparations (Directive 1999/45/EC) through the Öffnet externen Link in neuem Fenster„Global Harmonised System“ of the United Nations. However, up to now not all hazard classes/categories as described in the GHS of the UN have been adopted by European Legislation  ("Building Block Approach“).

Together with Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 also the list of hazardous substances of Annex I of Directive 67/548/EEC has been transformed into the harmonised classification and labelling of the GHS.

Although many elements of the existing European rules have been adopted by GHS, some crucial changes respective denomination and classification criteria have to be taken into account, this cannot be mentioned here in detail. Instead of R-phrases GHS defines hazard classes, which are sub-divided into categories.

As an example the hazardous class “hazardous to the aquatic environment” are summarised below:

 

Category

Hazard statement GHS

Criteria *)

Existing classification according to 67/548/EEG

Acute

1

Very toxic to aquatic life

H400

LC50 or EC50

≤ 1 mg/l

≈ R50

Chronic

1

Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects

H410

LC50 or EC50

≤ 1 mg/l and not rapidly degradable and/or BCF >500  (alternatively log Pow ≥ 4)

≈ R50-53

Chronic

2


Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects

H411

LC50 or EC50

>1 to ≤ 10 mg/l and not rapidly degradable and/or BCF >500  (alternatively log Pow ≥ 4)

≈ R51

Chronic

3

Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects

H412

LC50 or EC50

>10 to ≤ 100 mg/l and not rapidly degradable and/or BCF >500  (alternatively log Pow ≥ 4)

≈ R52

Chronic

4

May cause long lasting harmful effects to aquatic life  

(safety net)

H413

No classification under the above criteria possible but some grounds for concern

≈R53

*) Acute toxicity: LC50 (fish) resp. EC50 (crustacea, algae or other aquatic plants)
    BCF: Bioconcentration factor
    LogPow: Octanol-water partition coefficient

The competent authorities maintain a national Öffnet externen Link in neuem FensterREACH-CLP Helpdesk and the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Öffnet externen Link in neuem Fenster(FIOSH) offers detailed information on classification and labelling. The German Environmental Agency (UBA) elaborated a Öffnet externen Link in neuem Fensterguidance document for the application of the CLP-Regulation, which gives a very good overview.

On European level the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) provides extended informationen and guidance documents regarding the impplementation of the Öffnet externen Link in neuem FensterCLP-Regulation as well as on notified resp. harmonised classifications.